Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara
John Foran is professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is also involved with the programs in Latin American and Iberian Studies, and Women, Culture, and Development. He was visiting professor of sociology and Latin American Studies at Smith College from 2000 to 2002, and Visiting Professor of Sociology at Goldsmith’s College, University of London, from 2009 to 2010.
His current areas of interest include the comparative study of 20th-century revolutions and 21st-century radical social change, development, climate, and globalization, and the global justice and climate justice movements. His books include Fragile Resistance: Social Transformation in Iran from 1500 to the Revolution (Westview, 1993; available for free on the departmental website), A Century of Revolution: Social Movements in Iran (editor, Minnesota, 1994), Theorizing Revolutions (editor, Routledge, 1997), The Future of Revolutions: Re-thinking Radical Change in an Age of Globalization (editor, Zed, 2003), Feminist Futures: Re-imagining Women, Culture and Development (co-editor, Zed, 2003), Revolution in the Making of the Modern World: Social Identities, Globalization, and Modernity (co-editor, Routledge, 2008), and On the Edges of Development: Cultural Interventions (co-editer, Routledge, 2009).
In his most recent book, Taking Power: On the Origins of Revolutions in the Third World (Cambridge, 2005), he presents a new theory of the causes of revolutions across three dozen cases from Latin America, to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and spanning the period from 1910 to the present. The book has won distinguished scholarship awards from the Pacific Sociological Association, and the Marxist and Political Economy of the World System sections of the American Sociological Association. As a comparative-historical sociologist, he has written on many aspects of revolutions in the Third World generally, from race, class, gender and culture to agency, causes and outcomes, for such journals as Latin American Perspectives, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Theory and Society, Political Power and Social Theory, Sociological Theory, Third World Quarterly, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Critical Sociology, Race, Gender, and Class, Futures, and Review (Journal of the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems, and Civilizations).