About the Department

The University of Pittsburgh Department of Sociology, established in 1926, has particular strengths in the study of Social Movements and Politics and Culture and shares with the University of Pittsburgh a strong international and comparative orientation.


Jan 20

Yevgeny Kuznetsov talk: Making Diaspora Talent Change Agents at Home: Observations of a 'Thinking Doer'

Nowadays, talent is the most precious of resources and it moves globally. Mobilization of diasporas of highly skilled for the benefits of country of origin has shown tremendous potential, yet putting it into practice has proven elusive: almost all countries have programs to leverage their diaspora of highly skilled professionals, yet disappointedly few have resulted in significant impact.  The talk will introduce a notion of diaspora 'over-achiever', dwell on why they proved be so important in World Bank's project work, and shed light on the 'how to' of effective diaspora programs.  

Dr. Yevgeny Kuznetsov is a Senior Economist at the World Bank, and Senior Research Fellow at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC. Fluent in English, Russian and Spanish, he has been working on innovation, growth and talent mobility for 17 years in the World Bank, which he joined in 1995 from Brookings Institution. He has been involved in innovation projects in more than 40 countries, and authored more than 30 publications on innovation and knowledge-based growth. He served as the architect, editor and a key author of OECD-World Bank (2014) book Making Innovation Policy Work – Learning from Experimentation. In recent years, he has been focusing on highly skilled diasporas as change agents to promote institutional development in home countries. His recent book (2013) How Can Talent Abroad Induce Development at Home? Towards a Pragmatic Diaspora Agenda brings together innovation and international migration perspectives on development

Read More >
Jan 26

Dana Moss talk: Mobilization for Rebellion and Relief: A Comparative Study of Immigrant Transnational Activism During the Arab Spring

Immigrants in the West are assumed to be well-positioned to fuel insurgencies and humanitarian causes in their home-countries. However, existing accounts neglect why only some of their movements do so. This paper addresses this shortcoming by comparing Libyan, Syrian, and Yemeni mobilization from the US and Britain during the Arab Spring. The analysis demonstrates the conditions that enabled activists to contribute to anti-regime uprisings in substantive ways and develops theories of immigrant transnational mobilization more broadly.

Read More >
Feb 20

Christopher Dum talk: The Last Stop Motel: Lessons from the Hidden Homeless

Christopher Dum is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Kent State University and author of a recent book “Exiled in America: Life on the Margins in a Residential Motel”

Read More >
Feb 27

Yasser Munif talk: Mobilization and Self-Governance in a Syrian Town

Read More >