The main question driving my research asks: when and how do social movements matter? Or, more specifically, when and how do movements have enduring influences on patterns of individual behavior and institutional change? To answer this question, I study the organizational and strategic dimensions of social movements and the impacts of movements on political and social change.  Most of my research focuses on the civil rights struggle in the U.S. South and the contemporary environmental movement. My current  CV is available here.

In my newest project I am working with Neal Caren (UNC) and Rashawn Ray (Maryland) to study the dynamics and policy consequences of Black Lives Matter in U.S. cities. I am continuing a long-term project investigating the dynamics of local civil rights movements in the U.S. South. You can find descriptions of my current projects here, articles here, and recent syllabi here.


2021. New grant with Neal Caren and Rashawn Ray – “Protest, Policy and Racial Justice: The Impact of Black Lives Matter on Policing Reforms

2020. “Contemporary Social Movements in a Hybrid Media Environment,” with Neal Caren and Todd Lu. Annual Review of Sociology.

2019. “The Science of Contemporary Street Protest” with Dana R. Fisher, Neal Caren, Erica Chenoweth, Michael T. Heaney, Tommy Leung, L. Nathan Perkins, and Jeremy Pressman. Science Advances.

2018. “The Cultural-Cognitive Mapping of Scientific Professions,” with Gordon Gauchat. American Sociological Review.

2018. “Lawyers and Litigation in the Southern Civil Rights Movement,” with Kay Jowers. Law and Policy.

Dataset that Michael Biggs and I constructed titled “Sit-ins and Desegregation in the U.S. South in the Early 1960s” is available from ICPSR including measures from our American Sociological Review papers in 2006 and 2015.

2016. “The Legitimacy of Protest: Explaining White Southerners’ Attitudes Toward the Civil Rights Movement,” with Kraig Beyerlein and Tuneka Tucker Farnum, Social Forces.

2015. “Group Threat and Policy Change: The Spatial Dynamics of Prohibition Politics, 1890-1919,” with Charles Seguin, American Journal of Sociology.

2015. “Protest Campaigns and Movement Success: Desegregating the U.S. South in the Early 1960s” with Michael Biggs, American Sociological Review. 

2015. “Local Protest and Federal Policy: The Impact of the Civil Rights Movement on the 1964 Civil Rights Act,” with Sarah Gaby, Sociological Forum


Comments are closed.