Lucas A Franco

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Lucas Franco is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Minnesota. His subfields include comparative politics and American politics. He holds a Masters in Philosophy in Peace Studies from the University of Oslo, Norway, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Seattle University. Before he joined the PhD program at the University of Minnesota, Lucas worked as a labor organizer and researcher for the hotel and restaurant workers union in Seattle, Washington, Unite Here Local 8. His dissertation research focuses on issues of comparative political economy and comparative labor politics. In particular, he explores the factors contributing to the growth of non-standard forms of labor, how the expansion of this type of work impacts workers, and how labor unions and community justice organizations in the U.S. and Europe are responding to a steady transformation of the structure of work. Further, he seeks to explore why unions have responded to these challenges differently across various labor market contexts. He also has a broad research interest in Scandinavian politics, the fissuring of work, and labor union revitalization in advanced democratic countries.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • B.A. : Political Science, Seattle University, Seattle, WA, 2008.
  • M.A. of Philosophy: Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, 2010.
  • M.A.: Political Science, University of Minnesota, Minnesota, 2015.

Curriculum Vitae


  • comparative politics
  • American politics
  • Scandinavian government and politics
  • Labor studies
Courses Taught
  • Teaching Assistant: POL 3835 - International Relations
  • Teaching Assistant: POL 3477 - The Political Economy of Development
  • Teaching Assistant: POL 3327: Suburbs, Stadiums and Scandal: The Politics of the American City
  • Teaching Assistant: POL 3321: Issues in American Public Policy
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Co-President University of Minnesota Political Science Graduate Leadership Committee: 2017 - 2018
  • Co-President University of Minnesota Political Science Graduate Leadership Committee: 2014 - 2015
  • President (2010) and Vice President (2009) of University of Oslo Peace and Conflict Studies M.A. student board (PECOS Fagutvalget): 2009 - 2011


  • Research Assistant, University of Minnesota: Research focused on analyzing the growth of precarious labor and populist politics in the Global South, Spring 2016 - Summer 2016
  • Franco, Lucas. 2017. “Organizing the precariat: The fight to build and sustain fast food worker power.” Invitation to Revise and Resubmit to Critical Sociology.
  • Torske Klubben Fellowship, 2017 - 2018
  • Torske Klubben Fellowship, 2016 - 2017
  • Thesis Research Travel Grant, University of Minnesota Graduate School, 2016
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Summer Fellowship to Study Intermediate and Advanced Norwegian, 2016
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education, 2014 - 2015
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education, 2013 - 2014
  • Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, 2008 - 2009
  • NAEF Seattle University Scholarship, 2007 - 2008
  • Edmund Maxwell Scholarship, 2004 - 2008