Loyola University Chicago

Department of Sociology


Matthew Williams, PhD

Title/s:  Lecturer

Specialty Area: Collective Behavior/Social Movements, Labor and Labor Movements, Political Economy and Political Sociology, Social Inequality, Sociology of Development, Sociology of Globalization/Transnationalism

Office #:  Coffey Hall 437

Phone: 773.508.3298



Curriculum Vitae

Matthew S. Williams joined the Department of Sociology and Global and International Studies Program at Loyola University in the fall of 2013, following a year as an Assistant Visiting Professor at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. He earned his PhD at Boston College. The overall focus of his research interests has been the exercise of power on a global scale. This includes the use of power across the spectrum of society, whether by those in positions of authority in states, corporations and multilateral organizations or by social movements resisting those authorities. He was drawn to this research topic by the number of issues that globalization touches on and the resulting manifold nature of the global justice movement, with which he was actively involved for a number of years. In particular, he is interested in the ways that ordinary people have successfully mobilized through social movements to challenge those in power and bring about positive change, addressing major social ills and creating greater democracy globally. His dissertation—soon to be published as Strategizing Against Sweatshops through Temple University Press—provides a detailed analysis of the US anti-sweatshop movement, with a particular focus on United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) and the strategic evolution of the movement. He was interested not only in the question of how a student activist group found itself at the cutting edge of the movement and leading successful campaigns to better the working conditions of sweatshop factory workers across the world, but also in the broader question of how movements successfully engage in the process of developing strategy, especially in the face of powerful opposition and major setbacks and challenges.


Boston College, PhD, Sociology, 2010

Boston College, MA, Sociology, 2007

Wesleyan University, BA, Anthropology, 1996

Courses Taught

  • Global and International Studies Capstone Course: Global Civil Society and Social Movements
  • Introduction to Global and International Studies
  • Sociology in a Global Age (Introduction to Sociology)
  • Social Movements and Social Change

Selected Publications

  • Matthew S. Williams. Strategizing Against Sweatshops; The Global Economy, Student Activism, and Worker Empowerment. (Temple University Press, 2020).
  • Matthew S. Williams. 2016. “Strategic Innovation in US Anti-Sweatshop Movement.” Social Movement Studies. 15 (3): 277-289.
  • Matthew S. Williams. 2009. “The Bush Administration, Debt Relief, and the War on Terror: Reforming the International Development System as Part of the Neoconservative Project.” Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict and World Order. 35 (3): 49-65.