Faculty Biography

J. Alex Sphar, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Geography

Graduate School of Geography
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Office: Room 107, Jefferson Academic Center
Phone: 508-793-7640
Email: JSphar@clarku.edu


Dr. Alex Sphar’s research and teaching focus on the politics and practice of contemporary economic governance, interrogating: how uneven development is continually produced and reproduced; how alternate development models may be created at various scales; how economic spaces and scales are themselves created; how our understandings of ‘the economy’ interact with actual policies to shape modern state action; and, how political and economic ideas intersect in the current global conjuncture to forge the specific forms of uneven development and increasing inequality that we see today. He conducts qualitative and quantitative research on these issues in Latin America at both the State scale and Urban/Regional scales to better understand the possibilities for socially and economically just outcomes across the Global South. Specifically, Dr. Sphar has investigated these issues through long-term field research in Brazil, in which he analyzes the opportunities for, and limits to, altering the nature of economic governance and the role of the State under the successive Workers Party governments.

Dr. Sphar joined the faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor in 2016. He received his Ph.D. in geography from Clark University, both his M.A. in Latin American Area Studies and his M.B.A. in International Business from the University of Kansas (2007), and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Wichita State University (2002). 



Political Economy 

Political Theory

Economic Geography

Urban Geography

State Theory

Economic & Social Justice



Geog 016 Introduction to Economic Geography

Geog 020 American Cities

Geog 052 Global Changes, Regional Challenges

Geog 258 Utopian Visions, Urban Realities

Seminar on Political Economy of Development in Contemporary Latin America