Center for Social Science Research
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

John G. Dale

John G. Dale

John G. Dale

Associate Professor

political sociology; economic sociology; social movements; globalization; transnational networks; sociology of human rights; law & transnational conflict; urban sociology; critical sociology of development; comparative & historical sociology; (Area Specialist in Burma/Myanmar).

John G. Dale is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at George Mason University. He is also Affiliate Faculty of the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and Research Affiliate of the Center for Social Science Research and the Institute for Immigration Research. He received his M.A. in Sociology from the New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Davis, in 2003. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in 2005. He is the author of Free Burma: Transnational Legal Action and Corporate Accountability (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and co-author (with Anthony Orum) of Political Sociology: Power and Participation in Modern World (Oxford University Press, 2009; Translated in Turkish in 2016, and Chinese in 2017). Professor Dale's areas of research and teaching include political and economic sociology, social movements, urban and community development, globalization, and transnational social formations. His research explores social and political relations shaping the production of knowledge, as well as empirical practices, cultural understandings, and institutional development of human rights and social justice. His approach to understanding globalization and human rights draws substantially from perspectives in political, economic, cultural, and cognitive sociology, political, legal and development anthropology, as well as from methodological approaches to transnationalism deriving from critical and institutional ethnography, and comparative and historical sociology.

Professor Dale is internationally recognized as an expert on the pro-democracy movement and contentious politics of development and human rights in Burma (Myanmar), and the Open Society Foundation selected him to serve as International Liaison of Sociology to help establish an undergraduate department of sociology at University of Yangon. He has been conducting fieldwork, research, and writing about conflict and civil society in Burma (Myanmar) since 1997. His current research in Burma focuses on the local impact of social enterprises and newly emerging frameworks of development in Burma (Myanmar) under democratic transition. He recently published (with collaborator David Kyle) “Smart Transitions? Foreign Investment, Disruptive Technology, and Democratic Reform in Myanmar” in Social Research: An International Quarterly, “Special Issue: From Burma to Myanmar: Critical Transitions” Volume 82, No. 2, (Summer 2015): 291-326, ‘Smart Humanitarianism: Re-imagining Human Rights in the Age of Enterprise.” Critical Sociology 42 (6), in a special on human rights that they guest edited, and “The Risky Business of Transformation: Social Enterprise in Myanmar's Emerging Democracy,” in Melissa Crouch (ed.) The Business of Transition: Law Reform, Development and Economics in Myanmar (Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp.81-121.

Dale serves as a consultant to NGOs working in Burma (Myanmar), and as an expert source for print, TV and radio interviews and reports on politics in Burma (Myanmar) for major news organizations around the world, including the New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Toronto Star, Christian Science Monitor, the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, National Geographic, Véja Magazine (Brazil), The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Myanmar Times, Burma’s The Irrawaddy Magazine, The Asian Tribune, CNN, C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal, PBS’ NewsHour with Jim Leher, BBC London TV News, Al Jazeera (English) TV News, Voice of America (Myanmar), and Japan Broadcasting Corporation’s NHK TV News.

His current research also engages interdisciplinary debates emerging in the fields of Science, Technology, and Society, Cognitive Sciences, and Posthumanist Studies. Dr. Dale is currently writing two new books with co-author and collaborator David Kyle (University of California, Davis). The first is Inventing the Creativity Bomb: How Cold War Science Put Imagination to Work (under contract with Stanford University Press). The second, Outsmarting Ourselves draws on their field research in Burma (Myanmar) and Oaxaca, Mexico, among other sites, to critically explore the politics and cultures of knowledge production within emerging knowledge economies (and the transnational relations connecting them) that promote social entrepreneurship, impact investing, social enterprises, and smart city development as sustainable modes of "social" problem-solving.

After serving as Sociology Graduate Program Director (2012-2016), he recently was elected to a 3-year term (2015-2018) to serve on George Mason University's Graduate Council, serving as the Graduate Programs Representative for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and also serves on the Provost's Ph.D. Program Award and Graduate Scholarship Committees. He serves as the Open Society Institute's International Liaison to University of Yangon (Myanmar), helping to develop a new Sociology Department. He also has served as a member of the Review Committee for the Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Dissertation Completion Fellowships (2015-2017), and the Center for Engaged Scholarship (2015-17), as well as an invited member of the Academic Assessor Group of the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research Grants (2014-2015). He recently completed a three year-term as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Society of the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), and continues to serve the SSSP as Chair of the Transnational Initiatives Committee and as Appointed Liaison to the American Association for the Advancement of Science - Science & Human Rights Coalition (AAAS-SHRC), where he is also a working member of Human Rights Indicator Group for Article 15 of the United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (UNICESR), a project helping to inform the writing of the UN Rapporteur’s general comment on the human right to science. 

In Fall 2017, he will be teaching courses in Political Sociology at the graduate and undergraduate level, and in Spring 2018, he is teaching a new course, "Big Data, Technology, and Society."

Selected Publications

Free Burma: Transnational Legal Action and Corporate Accountability, (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2011).

Political Sociology: Power and Participation in the Modern World. 5th Edition. Co-author with Anthony M. Orum, (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 2009; Turkish translation in 2016, and Chinese Translation in 2017).

Dale, John and David Kyle. “The Risky Business of Transformation: Social Enterprise in Myanmar’s Emerging Democracy,” in Melissa Crouch, ed., The Business of Transition: Law Reform, Development and Economics in Myanmar, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 81-121.

Dale, John and David Kyle. 2016. "Smart Humanitarianism: Re-imagining Human Rights in the Age of Enterprise.” Critical Sociology 42 (6): 1-15.

Dale, John and David Kyle. 2015. “Smart Transitions? Foreign Investment, Disruptive Technology, and Democratic Reform in Myanmar.” Social Research: An International Quarterly, “Special Issue: From Burma to Myanmar: Critical Transitions” Volume 82, No. 2 (Summer): 291-326.

Dale, John. “Transnational Conflict between Peasants and Corporations in Burma: Human Rights and Discursive Ambivalence under the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act.” In Mark Goodale and Sally Engle Merry, eds. The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law between the Global and the Local, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). Pp. 285-319.

 

 

Expanded Publication List

Refereed Presses and Journals

Books

Kyle, David J. and John G. Dale, Inventing the Creativity Bomb: How Cold War Science Put Imagination to Work. (Under Contract with Stanford University Press).

Dale, John G. Free Burma: Transnational Legal Action and Corporate Accountability (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2011) [See reviews in American Journal of Sociology, Mobilization: An International Quarterly Review of Social Movements, Journal of World Systems Research, and Foreign Policy in Focus.]

Orum, Anthony M. and John G. Dale, Political Sociology: Power and Participation in the Modern World. 5th Edition. (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 2009). [Translated in Chinese and Turkish.]

Book Chapters

Dale, John and David Kyle. “The Risky Business of Transformation: Social Enterprise in Myanmar’s Emerging Democracy,” in Melissa Crouch (ed), The Business of Transition: Law Reform, Development and Economics in Myanmar, (under review with Cambridge University Press).

Dale, John and Samantha Samuel-Nakka. “International Non-Governmental Organisations and Advocacy.” In Adam Simpson, Nicholas Farrelly and Ian Holliday (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Myanmar (forthcoming, December 2017), Chapter 31.

Dale, John. “Foreward.” In Nehginpao Kigpen, “Myanmar: A Political History, (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Dale, John. “Transnational Conflict between Peasants and Corporations in Burma: Human Rights and Discursive Ambivalence under the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act.” In Mark Goodale and Sally Engle Merry, eds. The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law between the Global and the Local, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2007). Pp. 285-319.

Kyle, David and John Dale. “Smuggling the State Back In: Agents of Human Smuggling Reconsidered.” In Peggy Leavitt and Sanjeev Khagram, eds., The Transnational Studies Reader: Intersections and Innovations, (New York: Routledge, 2008). [This chapter was originally published in David J. Kyle and Rey Koslowski, eds., Global Human Smuggling: Comparative Perspective. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001). Pp.29-57. This chapter has also been revised and reprinted in David J. Kyle and Rey Koslowski, eds., Global Human Smuggling: Comparative Perspectives, Second Edition (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011). Pp.33-59.

Dale, John and Dorine Greshof. “The Residents of Tompkins Square Park.”  In Janet L. Abu-Lughod, ed., From Urban Village to East Village: Neighborhood Change in New York's Lower East Side. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 1994). Pp. 267-284.

Refereed Research Articles

Dale, John and David Kyle. 2016. “Smart Humanitarianism: Re-imagining Human Rights in the Age of Enterprise.”  Critical Sociology 42 (6): 783-797.

Dale, John and David Kyle. 2015. “Smart Transitions? Foreign Investment, Disruptive Technology, and Democratic Reform in Myanmar.” Social Research: An International Quarterly, “Special Issue: From Burma to Myanmar: Critical Transitions” Volume 82, No. 2 (Summer): 291-326.

Dale, John G. “Democratizing the Production of Human Rights in Burma.” Global Studies Review, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Fall, 2010).

Dale, John G. “Burma’s Boomerang: Human Rights, Social Movements and Transnational Legal Mechanisms ‘from Below’.” International Journal of Contemporary Sociology 45: 1 (April, 2008), Special Issue on “The New World Order - Global Dynamics in the Twenty-First Century.” Pp. 151-184.

Dale, John G. and Tony Roshan Samara. “Legal Pluralism within a Transnational Network of Governance: The Extraordinary Case of Rendition.” Law, Social Justice, and Global Development, Vol. 12, No.2 (Winter, 2008), Special Issue on “Legal Pluralism,” Available at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/elj/lgd/

Dale, John. “Anarcho-Graffiti in New York City´s Lower East Side.” In Lift and Separate: Graphic Design and the Quote Vernacular Unquote. (New York: Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, 1993).

Book Reviews

Dale John G. “Overcoming Global Inequalities.” Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews, July, 2016 (vol.45., No.4).

Dale John G. “Internal Affairs: How the Structure of NGOs Transforms Human Rights.” American Journal of Sociology, November, 2013 (Vol. 119, No.3).

Dale John G. “Making Waves: Worldwide Social Movements, 1750-2005.” Journal of World Systems Research, March, 2013 (Vol. 19, No. 1).

Dale John G. “Poverty & Power: The Problem of Structural Inequality.” Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews 39 (January, 2010). Pp. 82-83.

Dale John G. “The Work of Global Justice: Human Rights as Practice.” Mobilization: An International Quarterly Review of Social Movements, Protest, and Contentious Politics Vol. 1, No. 4 (December, 2009). Pp. 517-518.

Dale John G. “Taking Power: On the Origins of Third World Revolutions.” Mobilization: An International Quarterly Review of Social Movements, Protest, and Contentious Politics Vol.12, No. 1 (March, 2007). Pp.106-107.

Review Essay

Dale John G. “In Dire Straits: Why Big Oil Needs Transnational Regulation.” [Review of John S. Burnett’s Dangerous Waters: Modern Piracy and Terror on the High Seas.] Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 59 (2005), No. 1. Pp. 288-295.

Encyclopedia Articles

Dale John G. “Doe v. Unocal.” In Junius P. Rodriguez, ed. Slavery in the Modern World: A History of Political, Social, and Economic Oppression, (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Press, forthcoming, 2011).

Dale John G. “The Interwar Years.” In William A. Darity, ed. International Encyclopedia for the Social Sciences (Second Edition), (Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA -Thomson Gale, 2008).

Dale John G. “Karl Polanyi.” In David S. Clark, ed. Encyclopedia of Law & Society: American and Global Perspectives. (Thousand Oaks, CA, London and New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2007), vol. 3, pp. 1120-1121.

 

Grants and Fellowships

As Graduate Program Director of Sociology, wrote, submitted, and won a competitive University-wide Provost Ph.D. Program Grant of $406,800 (over three years) for the Sociology Ph.D. program, November 2015.

Co-principal Investigator (with Jim Witte, Amy Best, and Shannon Davis), on $300,000 grant (over three-years) from the Corporation for National Civic Engagement to study the impact of immigrant civic engagement on socio-economic mobility in seven cities across the United States, October, 2015; and renewed in June 2017.

Received $5000 funding as Chair of Transnational Initiatives from the Society of Social Problems to organize and moderate a special panel session at the 2015 Annual Meeting that I proposed for bringing international graduate student scholars from multiple continents of the global South (Myanmar, Honduras, Bolivia, and Egypt) who are conducting social research in those countries that focuses on transnational conflict. The funding covers all of the students’ travel expenses.

Invited by and received funding in Summer 2014 from the Open Society Foundation (OSF) to travel to Yangon, Myanmar to take a leading role in developing a new BA Program in Sociology and interdisciplinary research center for Local Knowledge (working with the existing BA and Graduate Programs in Psychology and Anthropology at the University of Yangon and Mandalay University – the two largest flagship universities in Myanmar.

Awarded funding in 2013 from the Society for the Study of Social Problems to cover two conference rooms at the Westin Hotel at Times Square in New York and professional staff from SSSP, and raised (with David Kyle, UC Davis) $3,500 from University of Connecticut’s Human Rights Institute, University of California, Davis’ Office of University Outreach and International Programs and Department of Sociology George Mason University's Consortium on Global Problem Solving and Office of Global and International to host a one-day international conference on “Re-Imagining Human Rights: http://www.sssp1.org/index.cfm/m/531/Mini-Conference_on_Re-Imagining_Human_Rights/

As Graduate Program Director of Sociology, wrote, submitted, and won a competitive University-wide Provost Ph.D. Program Grant of $405,500 (over three years) for the Sociology Ph.D. program, November 2012.

Center for Global Studies Faculty Research Grant, for project titled, “Just Practicing? The Transnational Production of Human Rights in Burma.” The $2,500 grant is for field research in Burma and Thailand, 2010-2011.

Travel and Research Grant from Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme [International Federation of Human Rights, (based in Paris, France) and the Burma Lawyer’s Council to attend an international conference in Bangkok, Thailand convening 80 NGOs from the Global North and South and Burmese and ethnic nationalist minority activist groups from Burma, and to conduct research along the Thai-Burma border relating to emerging transnational campaigns for accountability on international crimes in Burma, including by a referral to International Criminal Court. May, 2009.

Fenwick Fellowship (with Tony Samara). George Mason University, Project Title: Transnational Justice and Legal Discourse in the Making of Extraordinary Rendition, 2007-2008.

Courses Taught

Professor Dale was a 2009 Finalist for George Mason University’s Teaching Excellence Award. He teaches courses for both the Sociology and Anthropology Department and the Conflict Analysis and Resolution Program. For several years, he taught an undergraduate human rights course that used videoconferencing technology to link in real-time his course with a similar graduate course at the State University – Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow, Russia, and visited Moscow to deliver a series of lectures to these students at HSE in person. He taught “Law and Justice from a Conflict Perspective” in Spring 2014 at University of Malta for GMU’s dual M.A. Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediterranean Security. See http://www.um.edu.mt/imp/courses/MSc-Conflict-Analysis-Resolution.

In Fall 2017, he will be teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in Political Sociology; and in Spring 2018, he will be teaching a new undergraduate course that he has developed on "Big Data, Technology, and Society."

 

Graduate:

Political Sociology (SOCI 833/633)

Globalization and Transnational Social Movements (SOCI 851)

Sociology of Human Rights (SOCI 857)

Sociology of Globalization (SOCI 802)

Sociology of Development (SOCI 850)

Institutions, Imaginations and Transformations (SOCI 833)

Historical and Comparative Sociology (SOCI 860)

Legal Systems and Conflict (DST5210/CONF 733)

Nationalism, Transnationalism, and the State (ANTH 655)

Institutions and Inequality (SOCI 603)

Public and Applied Sociology (SOCI 601/801)

Undergraduate (Upper Division):

Sociology of Human Rights (SOCI 394/CONF 394)

Politics, Power, and Society (SOCI 340)

Global Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CONF 340)

Social Movements and Political Protest (SOCI 307)

Armed Conflict and Conflict Resolution (SOCI 326)

Social Structure and Globalization (SOCI 320)

Identity and Conflict Analysis (CONF 302)

Research & Inquiry in Conflict Resolution (CONF 301)

Undergraduate (Lower Division):

Globalization and Society (for the University Scholars Program) (SOCI 120)

Social Dynamics of Terrorism (CONF 240)

 

Education

Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Davis, 2003, with interdisciplinary certificate in Social Theory and Comparative History.

M.A., Sociology, The New School for Social Research, Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, New York, NY, 1991.

B.A., Sociology, (with Alpha Kappa Delta honors), Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, 1987, with Interdisciplinary certificate in Human Needs and Global Resources.

Recent Presentations

Invited by Dr. Melissa Crouch of the University of New South Wales Law School to participate in a workshop on “The Business of Transition in Myanmar,” as part of a book project that a select interdisciplinary group of Myanmar specialists are publishing with Oxford University Press, November 27-29, 2015 at the University of New South Wales Law School in Sydney, Australia. Dale's chapter (co-authored with David Kyle) is titled “The Risky Business of Transformation: Creativity and Legality in Myanmar’s Emerging Social Enterprise Sector.”

“Transnational Connections: International Graduate Student Research in the Global South.” Session Organizer, Co-Moderator, and Presider, Society for the Study of Social Problems, Chicago, IL, August, 2015.

“Transforming Institutional Practices of Human Rights.” Session Organizer, Moderator, and Presider. American Sociological Association, San Francisco, CA, August, 2014.

In August 2013, Professors Dale and Kyle co-organized an international conference in New York, “Re-Imagining Human Rights: The Challenge of Agency, Creativity, and Global Justice” See http://www.sssp1.org/ReimaginingHR.

“Transnational Social Movements, Markets, and Change.” Co-organizer (with Paul Dean) and Discussant, Society for the Study of Social Problems, New York, New York, August, 2013.

“Toward a Public Sociology: Integrating Transnational Scholarship and Community Service.” Organizer & Commentator. Society for the Study of Social Problems, Las Vegas, Nevada, August, 2011.

“Democratizing Transnational Solidarity and the Production of Human Rights in Burma.” Panelist: “Criminal Prosecutions and Global Justice.” International Studies Association, Montreal, Canada, March, 2011.

“Transnational Human Rights Brokers.” Panelist: “Transnational Community Organizing.” Association for Research on Non-profit Organization and Voluntary Action, Alexandria, VA. November, 2010.

“Democratizing the Production of Human Rights: Re-Organizing Transnational Solidarity within the Free Burma Movement.” Center for Global Studies Conference, "The New South-South Dynamic in Global Affairs: A Changing World Order?” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC, March 18-19, 2010.

“Obsolete Collective Cultural Rights? The Human Rights Movement’s Gambit for Cosmopolitan Solidarities and the Problem of Corporate Personhood,” Panelist, Presider, and Organizer: “Alternative Globalizations”; and Presider and Co-Organizer of “Human Rights: The Politics of Race and Ethnicity and Immigration”. Society for the Study of Social Problems, San Francisco, CA, August, 2009.

Moderator and presenter “Burma: Addressing the Challenges Ahead.” Presentation before U.S. Congress, sponsored by Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic and Indiana University Maurer School of Law. U.S. Capitol – Senate Room 6 (SC-6), Washington, DC. May 15, 2009.

“Beyond the Rogue State Executive: Mapping the Transnational Legal Imaginary of Extraordinary Rendition.” Panelist (with Tony Samara): “The Construction of Legal Justice in an Era of Constitutional Changes.” International Sociological Association, Barcelona, Spain, September, 2008.

“The Rogue State Executive’s Rope-a-Dope Strategy: The Extraordinary Case of Rendition.” Panelist (with Tony Samara): “Human Rights Section, Inaugural Panel.” American Sociological Association, Boston, MA, August, 2008.

Co-Presider and Co-Organizer (with LaDawn Haglund): “North/South Dialogue: Globalization and Human Rights: Contradictions and Opportunities”. Society for the Study of Social Problems, Boston, MA, August, 2008.

“Transnational Justice and Legal Discourse in the Making of Extraordinary Rendition.” Invited Special Session Co-Organizer and Co-Panelist (with Tony Samara): “States, Human Rights, and Global Security.” American Sociological Association, New York, NY, August, 2007.

“Transnationalizing Torture: Grassroots Movements Using Legal Mechanisms to End the Practice of Extraordinary Rendition.” Panelist: “Grass Roots Movements and Human Rights.” Law & Society Association, Berlin, Germany, July, 2007.

“The Rise of Human Rights-Free Zones: Staging Global State Order Beyond State Borders.” Session Organizer and Presider, and Panelist: “Globalization and Transnational Politics.” Society for the Study of Social Problems, Global Division, Montreal, Canada, August, 2006.

“Transnational Legal Conflict between Peasants and Corporations: Strengthening and Weakening Support for Human Rights under the Alien Tort Claims Act.” Invited (Double) Session: “Transnationalism and the Anthropology of Rights.” American Anthropological Association, Association for Political and Legal Anthropology and AAA Committee for Human Rights, Washington, DC, December, 2006.

In the Media

Dale has served as an expert source for news articles, and has been invited to provide commentary for political conflict in Burma for the New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Toronto Star, Christian Science Monitor, the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, National Geographic, Véja Magazine (Brazil), The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Myanmar Times, Burma’s The Irrawaddy Magazine, The Asian Tribune, CNN, C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal, PBS’ NewsHour with Jim Leher, BBC London TV News, Al Jazeera (English) TV News, Voice of America (Myanmar), and Japan Broadcasting Corporation’s NHK TV News.

See book reviews of John Dale’s Free Burma: Transnational Legal Action and Corporate Accountability (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) in the following journals: American Journal of Sociology; Law & Society Review; Social Movement Studies; Mobilization; Foreign Policy in Focus; Moussons: Social Science Research on South East Asia; Perspectives in Politics; Journal of World-Systems Research; and Choice.

 

Dissertations Supervised

Sara Mitcho, The Problem of Nonviolence: Women's Protest in the United States, Post-Civil War to Post-9/11 (2014)

Anderson Bean, Popular Power, Agency and Communes in Venezuela (2017)

Randall Salm, The Transformation of Ethnic Conflict and Identity in Syria (2016)