Gavin Shatkin’s research focuses on three closely related phenomena, all of which relate to the social, economic, and physical transformations associated with the globalization of cities:
Emerging issues of shelter and basic infrastructure provision in urban regions, particularly in developing countries;
The growing role of non-governmental and community-based organizations (NGOs and CBOs) in addressing these issues and in mediating between communities and government in the community development process; Changes in urban governance fostered by two contradictory forces faced by governments—pressures to integrate into the global economy by facilitating investment and creating a macroeconomic climate conducive to growth, and pressures for greater accountability and commitment to equity in public policy from grassroots organizations.
His recent research projects have examined the role CBOs in shelter delivery in the Philippines, and changing models of local leadership in Thailand. He is currently beginning a comparative study of issues of inequality in the rapidly globalizing metropolitan regions of Bangkok and Metro Manila.