Professor Emeritus of Planning, Policy & Design

Ph.D. Cornell University
(949) 824-6323



Critical political economy, technology, international development

Luis Suarez-Villa specializes in the study of corporate capitalism, technology, innovation, and international development from the perspective of critical political economy and social analysis. 

His most recent book, Corporate Power, Oligopolies, and the Crisis of the State (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2015), explores the rising influence of oligopolistic corporations in contemporary society.  A multidisciplinary perspective and an unprecedented amount of documentation help provide insights on how corporate oligopolies exercise their influence, and their effect on finance, politics, regulation, consumption, production, stagnation, inequalities, social structure, judicial decisions, and our public governance.  The tendencies, trends and consequences exposed in this book are likely to become major hallmarks of the twenty-first century, as corporate oligopolies gain increasing power over most every sector and human activity, and expand their influence throughout the world.       

Two previous books, Technocapitalism: A Critical Perspective on Technological Innovation and Corporatism (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2009; available in paperback after August 2012) and Globalization and Technocapitalism: The Political Economy of Corporate Power and Technological Domination (London: Ashgate, 2012), explore the emergence of a new, twenty-first century version of capitalism grounded in technology and science, and the political economy of corporate power and influence associated with it.  

Prof. Suarez-Villa's past work has involved the concept of technocapitalism, a new version of capitalism that has potentially major systemic implications for human existence, life and nature, as well as the economy and society.  New sectors grounded in this new version of capitalism, such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, bioinformatics, genomics and biomimetics, are bound to become hallmarks of the twenty-first century, much as aviation, the automotive industry and nuclear technology were of the twentieth.  These new sectors depend fundamentally on creativity and research, much as the industrial sectors that were a hallmark of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries depended on production, raw materials and factory labor.  Because of their deep grounding in technology and science, their high complexity and their close association with corporate power, these new sectors are likely to impose new social realities, pathologies and injustices that may be very difficult to understand and reverse. 

Prof. Suarez-Villa has extensive international experience, and has pursued his research interests in various nations in Europe, North America, Latin America and East Asia.  He has twice been awarded Fulbright fellowships for research.  He has also been awarded honors and fellowships by numerous organizations, such as the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Organization of American States, Cornell University, and the University of California.   His educational background was diverse and multi-disciplinary.  He earned his doctorate at Cornell University in 1981, where he pursued studies in international development, sociology, economics, and development planning.  His first university diploma was in architecture and architectural engineering, but his academic interests subsequently expanded and encompassed the fields of international development, technology studies, sociology, economics, human geography and regional science.

Prof. Suarez-Villa has been a faculty member of the University of California since 1982, and was a co-founder of the Department of Planning, Policy and Design.  He has been affiliated at various times with UCLA, New York University's Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems, the United Nations, the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain's National Scientific Research Council, the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Brazil, and the Institute of Technological Research at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Prof. Suarez-Villa is fluent in five languages, and has traveled to 69 nations around the world in relation to his academic work.  Among his current extra-curricular interests is the advancement of social justice in society, and raising awareness of the influence of corporate power in our daily lives.  


Web Links of Research Sites

Selected Publications

  • Suarez-Villa, Luis.  Corporate Power, Oligopolies, and the Crisis of the State (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2015).
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis.  Globalization and Technocapitalism: The Political Economy of Corporate Power and Technological Domination (London: Ashgate, 2012). 
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis.  Technocapitalism: A Critical Perspective on Technological Innovation and Corporatism (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2009). 
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis.  Review of Stephen Marglin's The Dismal Science: How Thinking Like an Economist Undermines Community (Harvard Univ. Press 2008), in Growth and Change 40 (2009):533-541. 
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis. "Networks, Innovative Capacity and the Experimental Firm: Implications for Regional Development Policy," in Maria Giaoutzi and Peter Nijkamp (editors). Network Strategies in Europe: Developing the Future for Transport and ICT (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2008):13-35. 
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis. "Collaboration in Biotechnology: How Inter-Firm Relations Strengthen Research Efforts in the USA." International Journal of Technology Management 27 (2004):390-414.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis. "The E-economy and the Rise of Technocapitalism: Networks, Firms and Transportation."  Growth and Change 34 (2003):390-414.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis. "Regional Inversion in the United States: The Institutional Context for the Rise of the Sunbelt Since the 1940s." Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 93 (2002):424-442.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis. "The Rise of Technocapitalism." Science Studies 14 (2001):4-20.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis. Invention and the Rise of Technocapitalism (Lanham, MD, and London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000).
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis. "The Structures of Cooperation: Downscaling, Outsourcing and the Networked Alliance." Small Business Economics 10 (1998):5-16.
  • Fischer, Manfred M., Luis Suarez-Villa and Michael Steiner (editors). Innovation, Networks and Localities (Berlin and New York: Springer-Verlag, 1999).
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis and Wallace Walrod. "Operational Strategy, R&D, and Intra-metropolitan Clustering in a Polycentric Structure: The Advanced Electronics Industries of the Los Angeles Basin." Urban Studies 34 (1997):1343-1380. (Donald Robertson Memorial Prizewinner for 1997).
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis and Charles Karlsson. "The Development of Sweden's R&D-intensive Electronics Industries: Exports, Outsourcing and Territorial Distribution." Environment and Planning A 28 (1996):783-818.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis and Ruth Rama. "Outsourcing, R&D and the Pattern of Intra-metropolitan Location: The Electronics Industries of Madrid." Urban Studies 33 (1996):1155-1197.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis and Manfred M. Fischer. "Technology, Organization and Export-driven Research and Development in Austria's Electronics Industry." Regional Studies 29 (1995):19-42.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis and Syed A. Hasnath. "The Effect of Infrastructure on Invention: Innovative Capacity and the Dynamics of Public Construction Investment." Technological Forecasting and Social Change 44 (1993):333-358.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis. "The Dynamics of Regional Invention and Innovation: Innovative Capacity and Regional Change in the Twentieth Century." Geographical Analysis 25 (1993):147-164.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis and Juan R. Cuadrado Roura. "Thirty Years of Spanish Regional Change: Interregional Dynamics and Sectoral Transformation." International Regional Science Review 15 (1993):121-156.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis and Pyo-Hwan Han. "Organizations, Space and Capital in the Development of Korea's Electronics Industry," Regional Studies 25 (1991), 327-343.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis. "Invention, Inventive Learning, and Innovative Capacity," Behavioral Science, 35 (1990):290-310.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis and Pyo-Hwan Han. "The Rise of Korea's Electronics Industry: Technological Change, Growth, and Territorial Distribution." Economic Geography 66 (1990):273-292.
  • Suarez-Villa, Luis. "Metropolitan Evolution, Sectoral Economic Change, and the City Size Distribution." Urban Studies 25 (1988):1-20.


Last updated: Thursday, July 14, 2016 - 9:08am