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Department of

Ethnic Studies

Thomas Ehrlich Reifer, PhD

Associate Professor, Sociology
Affiliated Faculty, Ethnic Studies

Dr. Reifer serves on the Gender Studies Advisory Committee and is an Associate Fellow at the Transnational Institute, a worldwide fellowship of committed scholar-activists; formerly worked at Focus on the Global South in Asia and was Associate Director of the Institute for Research on World-Systems (IROWS) and the Program on Global Studies at UC Riverside. He is also currently a Research Associate at the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems & Civilizations at Binghamton University—where he received his MA & PhD—and IROWS. His specialty is the study of large-scale, long-term social change and world-systems analysis.


Dr. Reifer received his BA in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz and his MA & PhD in Sociology from Binghamton University.

Scholarly and Creative Work

Dr. Reifer has published in the Encyclopedia of Intelligence & Counterintelligence (2005), The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology (2006), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (2nd edition, 2008); "From 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina:  War, the 21st Century & America's Future," in Destroy & Profit:  Wars, Disasters, & Corporations, 2006, Focus on the Global South "Unlocking the Black Box of Globalization," in Nelson Lichtenstein, ed., The Traveling Box:  Containers as the Global Icon of our Era, forthcoming.  Currently working on a series of books, including Blown Away:  US Militarism, Hurricane Katrina & the Challenges of the 21st Century; Earth, Wind & Fire; September 11th, Terrorism & the Globalization of Human Rights; Violence, Profits & Power and The Social Foundations of Global Conflict & Cooperation (coordinated project, forthcoming).Edited books include Globalization, Hegemony & Power:  Antisystemic Movements & the Global System and Global Crises & the Challenges of the 21st Century (forthcoming). 

Teaching Interests

Human evolution, emphasizing “prehistory,” Neolithic revolution, comparative settler colonialisms/imperialism, “American exceptionalism,” political development, militarism, state-corporate globalization, immigration, race-ethnic, class and gender formation and inequalities, in health care, criminology, education and warfare-welfare states, all studied in global, comparative world-historical perspective.  Comparative epidemiology, slavery and freedom, sociology of catastrophe/disasters, environmental racism, world-regions, labor and comparative social movements, world-systems analysis, comparative and global finance, hegemonies, the changing social foundations of the global system, sociological and political theory, cultural anthropology, politico-military sociology, technological change, international human rights, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture, alternative regionalisms, media, propaganda, Tupac, hip hop, the public sphere, peace and social justice.