James Condo

James Condo

James Condo

Social movements; alternative economies; urban sociology; economic sociology; political sociology; cooperative enterprise

I am a recent recipient of a BA in Sociology from George Mason University, and the Communications Specialist for Next System Studies, as well as a Lead Research Assistant for the Social Science Research Lab. I grew up in Northeast Ohio and moved to Northern Virginia to pursue my undergraduate education at GMU. 


In terms of my research interests, I seek to better understand how collective action via social movements and non-traditional firms can work to build futures beyond the capitalist global economy. I was part of the inaugural cohort of the Arlington Next System Fellows, where I trained in the emerging field of Next System Studies under Dr. Ben Manski and Dr. John Dale. Moreover, I interned with Democratizing Northern Virginia and conducted community-engaged research on democratization initiatives like cooperatives, community rights organizations, mutual aid organizations, and non-standard monetary systems such as time banks. 


Over the summer, I worked with Dr. Jeremy Campbell and Dr. Tom Wood on a Summer Team Impact Project on Indigenous Environmental Mapping and Resilience. The team worked with the Chickahominy and Upper Mattaponi Tribes in what is now considered Central Virginia on decolonial environmental stewardship initiatives through mapping, qualitative data analysis, and environmental data collection. Our project emphasized Indigenous Data Sovereignty, and is the start of a mutualistic relationship between George Mason University and Indigenous tribes throughout Virginia. As a settler researcher, it was an honor to collaborate with Indigenous leadership on decolonial initiatives and land rematriation. 


As a Lead Research Assistant for the Social Science Research Lab, I collaborate with Dr. Blake Silver, as well as graduate and undergraduate students across disciplines on interviewing second-generation Immigrant students who are navigating their completion of tertiary education and gathering insight on their future plans. 


My current research is part of the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program through OSCAR. I am researching the relationship between the cooperative sector in Northern Virginia and local, state, and national institutions of governance and finance. By researching institutional arrangements as a factor in the development of the cooperative sector, I seek to understand how smarter policymaking has the potential to develop a more democratic alternative to traditional, capitalist firms. 


As the Communications Specialist for Next System Studies at George Mason University, I compose newsletters which are delivered to activists and scholars around the world with updates about the programmatic work of Next Systems Studies, as well as any news relevant to building a society beyond capitalism. I also manage Next System Studies web content and social media.


Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, Summa Cum Laude, George Mason University, December 2022