Welcome to my website. I am a professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I am also affiliated with the Latin American and Iberian Studies Program, and with the Global and International Studies Program at UCSB. My scholarly research focuses on: macro and comparative sociology, globalization and transnationalism, political economy, political sociology, development and social change, immigration, Latin America and the Third World, and Latina/o studies.
As a scholar-activist I attempt to link my academic work to struggles in the United States, in the Americas, and around the world for social justice, popular empowerment, participatory democracy, and people-centered development.
At this website you will find links to my curriculum vitae, several hundred captioned photos from my research and travels around the world, and sample syllabi from courses I teach at UCSB. Also available on my site are downloadable PDF files for my out-of-print 1992 book, A Faustian Bargain and the 2007 Spanish language edition of my book on global capitalism, Una Teoria sobre el Capitalismo Global, as well as links to a variety of academic and global justice websites.
To see more photos, visit my Photos page on Flickr.
My most recent book, Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2014.
From the back cover:
"In this thoughtful and informative study, William I. Robinson carries forward the theory of global capitalism that he has presented in earlier work, applying it to the severe crises of an unprecedented moment of human history, when decisions directly affect the prospects for decent survival. The perspective that he develops is a most valuable one, broadly researched and carefully analyzed, addressing issues of utmost importance."
Noam Chomsky,Institute Professor (retired), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"In this wide-ranging book, William I. Robinson offers a compelling analysis of the recent turns in global capitalism. Moving from the local to the global with grace and conviction, Robinson traces the mutations in contemporary capitalism, showing how they have led to the rise of a truly globalized capitalist class and state apparatus. He argues convincingly for the obsolescence of traditional political economic categories in the face of these changes and presents a robust alternative framework, of which he is undoubtedly one of the leading proponents. And perhaps most importantly, he urges us to realize the moral and ethical stakes in this endeavor. This is a work of profound importance for all students of contemporary political economy."
Vivek Chibber,New York University
"William I. Robinson has written an outstanding, gripping, and comprehensive look at the reorganization of global capitalism and its implications - potential and actual - for the masses of the world's people. Not only does this book suggest a unique and provocative way of understanding today's global capitalism, with the rise of a transnational capitalist class, but it also offers insights into the challenges that must be undertaken in order to construct a strategy for a fundamental social transformation to rescue this planet and its inhabitants from the dangers derived from a very toxic capitalism. This book spoke to the questions with which I have been grappling, and it spoke in clear and direct terms. I could not more strongly recommend this book."
Bill Fletcher,author of "They're Bankrupting Us"
Latin America and Global Capitalism:
A Critical Globalization Perspective, was
published by Johns Hopkins University Press in Fall 2008.
From the back cover:
"William I. Robinson has delivered us a powerful statement on contemporary Latin America as both a product of globalization and a challenge to the view that 'there is no alternative.' This is a wide ranging political economy which is both well researched and eminently readable. A must!"
Ronaldo Munck, author of Contemporary Latin America
"Building on his pathbreaking work on emerging transnational states, classes, and relations of production, William Robinson reveals the deepening, overlapping, and ultimately unsustainable global crises of legitimacy, overaccumulation, and polarization. Robinson argues with great analytical lucidity that Latin America's current 'left turn,' more than a manifestation of turbulence, is a struggle over the shape of the new world to come."
Greg Grandin, author of Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism
"Robinson's book is a model for critical globalization studiesempirically grounded and theoretically sophisticated. He shows us how Latin America is on the frontlines in the struggle to determine what will succeed the neoliberal paradigm of the capitalist global order."
Michael Hardt, coauthor of Empire and Multitude