Richard Appelbaum

Professor Emeritus

Office Location

SSMS 2004


Sociology and Global & International Studies

Co-Principal Investigator
Center for Nanotechnology in Society

MacArthur Chair
Global Studies and Sociology


Richard P. Appelbaum, Ph.D., is Research Professor and MacArthur Chair in Global and International Studies and Sociology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and co-PI at the NSF-funded Center for Nanotechnology in Society <>.  He has previously served as chair of the Sociology Department, and was a co-founder of the UCSB  Global & International Studies Program, and served as the founding Director of its M.A program for seven years.

He received his B.A. from Columbia University, M.P.A. from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He has been a Simon Visiting Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Manchester, England, and an Honorary Visiting Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of Hong Kong. Between 1964-1966 he served as on a Ford Foundation program a consultant to the Oficina Nacional de Pleamiento y Urbanismo (ONPU), Lima, Peru.

Professor Appelbaum has received numerous awards and commendations for excellence in teaching, including the UCSB Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award in the Social Sciences. He has served as an elected Council Member of the Political Economy of the World-System Section of the American Sociological Association, as well as its President. He is on the Board of Consulting Editors of the Encyclopedia of Housing and the Encyclopedia of Global Studies. He is currently a faculty representative to the University of California Advisory Committee on Trademark Licensing/Designated Suppliers Program, and chairs the Advisory Council of the Workers' Rights Consortium. He is the author of the report of the Los Angeles Jewish Commission on Sweatshops, for which he served as a founding member.  In the past, he was co-PI (and served on the Executive Committees of) the NSF-funded Centers for Spatially Integrated Social Science and Spatial Perspectives on Curriculum Enhancement .

Professor Appelbaum has published extensively in the areas of social theory, urban sociology, public policy, the globalization of business, and the sociology of work and labor. In addition to numerous scholarly papers, he has published policy-related and opinion pieces in the Los Angeles Times and The American Prospect. His recent books include States and Economic Development in the Asian Pacific Rim (with Jeffrey Henderson; Sage, 1992); Behind the Label: Inequality in the Los Angeles Garment Industry (with Edna Bonacich; University of California Press, 2000); Rules and Networks: The Legal Culture of Global Business Transactions (co-edited with William L.F. Felstiner and Volkmar Gessner; Oxford, England: Hart, 2001), a collection that examines the legal frameworks that are emerging to regulate transnational businesses; and Introduction to Politics and Economics (an edited collection of readings; Kendall-Hunt 2004).  His most recent book is Towards a Critical Globalization Studies (co-edited with William I. Robinson, Routledge, 2005).  He is also co-author (with Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, and Deborah Carr) of Introduction to Sociology, 8th edition (forthcoming W.W. Norton, 2011), an introductory textbook that emphasizes the importance of economic, political, institutional, and cultural globalization on American life.  He is a founding editor (and currently emeritus editor) of Competition and Change: The Journal of Global Business and Political Economy.

Professor Appelbaum is currently engaged in two principal research projects: a multi-disciplinary study of labor conditions in supply chain networks in the Asian-Pacific Rim, and a study of high technology development (focusing on nanotechnology) in China.

Academic Vita [PDF]

  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Chicago, 1971
  • M.P.A., Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, 1966
  • B.A., Public Law and Government, Columbia University, 1964

Teaching Areas & Research Interests

World-system theory; global production and labor; science, technology, and society.


Key Recent Publications

  • Towards a Critical Globalization Studies (co-edited with William I. Robinson, Routledge, 2005).
  • Rules and Networks: The Legal Culture of Global Business Transactions (coeditor, 2001)
  • Behind the Label: Inequality in the Los Angeles Garment Industry (2000)
  • States and Development in the Asian Pacific Rim (coeditor, 1992)
  • Rethinking Rental Housing (coauthor, 1988)
  • Karl Marx (1988)
  • Numerous articles on housing and homelessness, urban growth and development, global economic change.

Recent Publications

Appelbaum, Richard P., Introduction to Sociology: 6th Edition (Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, and Richard P. Appelbaum), NY: W.W. Norton (2007 forthcoming)

Appelbaum, Richard P. TNCs and the Removal of Textiles and Clothing Quotas. Geneva, Switzerland: UNCTAD, 2005 ( [published with UNCTAD as author]

Appelbaum, Richard P. and William I. Robinson (eds.), Critical Globalization Studies. NY: Routledge, 2004.

Appelbaum, Richard P. (ed.) Introduction to Global Studies: Politics and Economics. Dubuque, IO: Kendall Hunt, 2004

Appelbaum, Richard P., William L.F. Felstiner and Volkmar Gessner, eds. Rules and Networks: The Legal Culture of Global Business Transactions. Oxford, England: Hart, 2001

Bonacich, Edna and Richard P. Appelbaum, Behind the Label: Inequality in the Los Angeles Apparel Industry.  Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2000.

Appelbaum, Richard P., States and Development in the Asian Pacific Rim (edited collection, with Jeffrey Henderson), Newbury Park: Sage, 1992

Articles, Chapters, Reviews, Entries (2000-2006):
Appelbaum, Richard P. and Nelson Lichtenstein, “Supply-Chains, Workers’ Chains and the New World of Retail Supremacy,” forthcoming inInternational Labor and Working Class History (2006)

Peter Dreier and Richard Appelbaum, “Campus Breakthrough on Sweatshop Labor,” The Nation On-Line (June 1, 2006)

Appelbaum, Richard P., “The Sweatshop Epidemic: Is There a Cure?” New Labor Forum 15(2): 112–148, Summer 2006: 112-120 [review essay]

Appelbaum, Richard P. review of Jill Espenshade, Monitoring Sweatshops in Comtemporary Sociology 35:2 (2006): 136-137.

Appelbaum, Richard P. and Peter Dreier, “Students Confront Sweatshops,” The Nation (November 28, 2005)

Appelbaum, Richard P., Edna Bonacich, and Katie Quan, “The End of Apparel Quotas: A Faster Race to the Bottom?” USAS website; scholarship repository, Center for Global Studies, UCSB (February 5, 2005)

Appelbaum, Richard P. and Peter Dreier, “SweatX Closes Up Shop,” The Nation (July 19-26, 2004): 6-8

Appelbaum, Richard P., Review of Mary Kaldor, Global Civil Society: An Answer to WarContemporary Sociology 33:6 (2004): 700-701

Appelbaum, Richard P. and William I. Robinson, “Towards a Critical Globalization Studies: Continued Debates, New Directions, Neglected Topics,” in Richard P. Appelbaum and William I. Robinson (eds.), Critical Globalization Studies. NY: Routledge (2004).

Appelbaum, Richard P. “Fighting Sweatshops: Problems of Enforcing Global Labor Standards,” in Richard P. Appelbaum and William I. Robinson (eds.), Critical Globalization Studies. NY: Routledge (2004).

Dreier, Peter and Richard P. Appelbaum, “Foot Fault,” The American Prospect Online (September 23, 2003)
view online

Appelbaum, Richard P. “Would a social clause in trade treaties hurt or help international workers' rights? PEWS newsletter (fall 2003)

Volkmar Gessner, Richard P. Appelbaum, and William L.F. Felstiner, “Introduction: The Legal Culture of Global Business Transactions,” pp. 1-36 in Richard P. Appelbaum, William L.F. Felstiner and Volkmar Gessner (eds.), Rules and Networks: The Legal Culture of Global Business Transactions.Oxford, England: Hart, 2001.

Richard P. Appelbaum and David Smith, “Governance and Flexibility: The East Asian Garment Industry,” in Frederick C. Deyo, Richard F. Doner, and Eric Hirshberg (eds.), Economic Governance and the Challenge of Flexibility in East Asia. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.

“Fighting Sweatshops: Problems of Enforcing Global Labor Standards,” unpublished paper (UCSB Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research: Center for Global Studies) (August 2000)

Richard P. Appelbaum and Edna Bonacich, “The Key Is Enhancing the Power of Workers,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (April 7, 2000): B4-5.

“Moving Up: Industrial Upgrading, Social Networks, and Buyer-driven Commodity Chains in East Asian Chinese Business Firms,” International Studies Review, vol. 3, no. 1 (winter 2000)

Goodchild, Mike F., Luc Anselin, Richard P. Appelbaum, and Barbara Herr Harthorn, “Toward Spatially Integrated Social Science, International Regional Science Review, 23:2(April 2000):139-159.

Richard P. Appelbaum , “The Los Angeles Apparel Industry: A New Ethnic Flashpoint?,” Catalogue: Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” Smithsonian Institution exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles (November 15, 1999-April 20, 2000)