Jackie Smith, PhD


2615 Wesley Posvar Hall


Jackie Smith is professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research addresses the relationships between economic globalization, social conflicts, and popular struggles. She currently serves as editor of the Journal of World-Systems Research, the official journal of the Political Economy of the World-System Section of the American Sociological Association. Smith has written and edited numerous books and articles on transnational social movements and the global political economy, addressing questions about how diverse groups form alliances across race, class, and other divisions in order to advance social transformation. Her earlier work on the World Social Forum process shapes her current research agenda, which focuses on how global analyses, networks, and models of action are “translated” into local settings. She is involved locally in work with Pittsburgh’s Human Rights City Alliance, and she serves on the Leadership Committee of the internet and media justice advocacy organization, May First/People Link. Smith is an advocate for the right to communication and Open Access publishing and is part of the International Network of Scholar Activists.  Smith coordinates the Pitt Human Rights Initiative, which engages community leaders and Pitt faculty, staff and students in joint educational and research activities aimed at promoting and defending human rights locally and beyond. Her books include: Social Movements and World-System Transformation (forthcoming with Michael Goodhart, Patrick Manning, and John Markoff, eds.); Social Movements in the World System: The Politics of Crisis and Transformation (with Dawn Wiest); Social Movements for Global Democracy; Coalitions across Borders: Transnational Protest and the Neoliberal Order (with Joe Bandy, ed.); and the Handbook of World Social Forum Activism with Scott Byrd, Ellen Reese and Elizabeth Smythe, eds.).

Professor Smith teaches courses on global sociology, globalization and social movements, climate change and society, cities in a global context, globalization and public health, and on human rights and democratization. 

Fields of Interest

  • Social Movements
  • Global Sociology
  • International Organizations
  • Development
  • Political Sociology
  • Peace Studies


  • Ph.D. University of Notre Dame

Global Movements & Local Coalitions

Transnational Social Movement Organization Networks

The Occupy Wall Street Movement and Occupy Pittsburgh

World Social Forums

Smith, Jackie. 2014. "Counter-Hegemonic Networks and The Transformation of Global Climate Politics: Rethinking Movement-State Relations." In Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs and Applied Contemporary Thought (4) January 2014

(2012) Social Movements in the World-System: The Politics of Crisis and Transformation (with Dawn Wiest) American Sociological Association, Rose Series in Sociology (Russell Sage Foundation).

(2011) Handbook of World Social Forum Activism. (Co-edited with Scott Byrd, Ellen Reese, and Elizabeth Smythe) Paradigm Publishers.

Jackie Smith and Ernesto Verdeja, Editors. Social Movements, Globalization, and Peacebuilding (Syracuse University Press).

Commentary on Arab Spring and Contemporary Global Protests, Part of a symposium in Globalizations 8(5):635-639 (October 2011)

  • Global Society  
  • Transnational Social Movements
  • Global Issues and the United Nations  

2010 Honorable Mention, Best Book Award competition, American Sociological Association Section on Political Economy of the World System, for Social Movements for Global Democracy (2008, Johns Hopkins University Press).

2010 Honorable Mention, Best Book Award competition, Global Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, for Social Movements for Global Democracy (2008, Johns Hopkins University Press)

2009 Semi-finalist, Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order for Social Movements for Global Democracy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008).