John G. Dale

John G. Dale

John G. Dale

Associate Professor

sociology of human rights; political sociology; social movements; global and transnational sociology; science, knowledge, and technology; law and transnational conflict; critical sociology of development; community and urban sociology; comparative and historical sociology; and area specialist in Burma/Myanmar.

John G. Dale is Associate Professor of Sociology at George Mason University. He is also Director of Movement Engaged, the social movement research hub of the Center for Social Science Research. He earned his PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Davis, in 2003, and was National Endowment for the Humanities Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in 2005, before joining the faculty at GMU. He also has been a Visiting Scholar at National Research University - Higher School of Economics in Moscow (2010), University of Malta in Valletta (2014), University of Yangon in Myanmar (2014), and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Visiting Scholar at Kyushu University in Japan (2021).

In 2021-2022, Dr. Dale was awarded an Invitational Fellowship for Research in Japan from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) for his research project, “Re-Working Japan’s Automated Warehouses: Cobotics, Social Autonomy, and Human Rights."

Dr. Dale also received a Residential Fellowship for 2019-2020 from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to work on his research project, Outsmarting Ourselves? The Digital Transformation of Human Rights. While in residence, he was affiliated with the Wilson Center's Science, Technology, and Innovation Program.

He currently serves on the Steering Committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science & Human Rights Coalition (2018-2024), and as a Council Member of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Human Rights (2019-2022). He is also an Editorial Board Member of the Sociology of Human Rights and Development Series at Anthem Press, and Topic Editor for the Sociological Theory Section of Frontiers in Sociology.

Prof. Dale is author of Free Burma: Transnational Legal Action and Corporate Accountability (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and co-author of Political Sociology: Power and Participation in the Modern World (Oxford University Press, 2009; translated in Turkish in 2016, and Chinese in 2017). His areas of research and teaching include political sociology; social movements; human rights; science, knowledge, and technology; community and urban development; globalization, and transnational social formations. His research explores social, political, and economic relations shaping the production of knowledge, as well as empirical practices, cultural understandings, and institutional development of human rights and social justice.

His current research and book project explore how big data and digital technologies reshape the practices and politics of human rights, and understandings of humanity. Humanitarian relief and human rights organizations are forging new partnerships and projects using big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, satellite remote sensing, video synchronization, sound search, and other digital technologies to document (and possibly predict) famines or genocides. This reflects two converging processes that are reshaping how we address human rights and humanitarian relief: (1) the digital transformation of human rights science and (2) the ascendancy of social enterprise models for solving social problems. His project explores potential positive benefits of innovation, as well as what harms such a convergence might pose for participatory human rights practices and the democratic production of knowledge. It examines how these new scientific practices reframe and reprioritize which issues do and do not become part of the human rights agenda, including our understandings of what it means to be human.

Dr. Dale is also an internationally recognized expert on the pro-democracy movement and contentious politics of development and human rights in Myanmar (Burma), and the Open Society Foundation selected him to serve as International Liaison of Sociology to the University of Yangon. He has been conducting fieldwork, research, and writing about conflict, civil society, and development in Burma (Myanmar) since 1997. He often advises NGOs and provides expert analysis on contentious politics in Myanmar (Burma) for major news media throughout the world, including the New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic, The Washington Post, Toronto Star, The Myanmar Times, Pravda (Slovak Daily), C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal, PBS NewsHour , BBC Radio Live, CNN, Al Jazeera TV News, and Japan Broadcasting Corporation’s NHK TV News.

In addition to his research and scholarship, Professor Dale is a highly committed educator. After serving as Sociology Graduate Program Director (2012-2016), he was elected to a 3-year term (2015-2018) on George Mason University's Graduate Council, serving as the Graduate Programs Representative for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and has served on review committees for the Provost's Ph.D. Program Award, Graduate Scholarship Funding, and Dissertation Completion Grants, among others. He also has served as a member of the Review Committee for the Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Dissertation Completion Fellowships, the Center for Engaged Scholarship, 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, and as a fellowship panel reviewer for the National Science Foundation (NSF). He has chaired and served on dozens of PhD dissertation committees in sociology, conflict analysis & resolution, political science, cultural studies, computational social science, and education.

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 G. and Ivan Kislenko. "Invitation to Transnational Sociology," in Glenn W. Muschert et al, eds, Global Agenda for Social Justice, Vol. 5 (Bristol University Press/Policy Press, forthcoming August, 2022).

Dale, John G. and Ashley Mehra. “How Humanitarian Blockchain Can Deliver Fair Labor to Global Supply Chains.” University of Cambridge, The Center for the Study of Global Human Movement (April 30, 2020).

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

Publications

Book Chapters

 

2022

 

Dale, John. "Myanmar, Pro-Democracy Movement, Collective Violence, 1998," in Matthew Wolf-Meyer, Michelle Charette, and Denielle A. Elliot, eds., ,” in Naked Fieldnotes: A Compendium of Raw and Unedited Ethnographic Research (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming).

2017

Dale, John, and Samantha Samuel-Nakka. “International Non-Governmental Organisations and Advocacy,” in Adam Simpson, Nick Farrelly, and Ian Holliday, eds., Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Myanmar. London: Routledge. Pp. 324-334.

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. Pp. 81-121.

2016

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

2007

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, UK: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 285-319.

2001

 

Reprint:

2008

 

Revised:

2011

Kyle, David and John Dale. “Smuggling the State Back In: Agents of Human Smuggling Reconsidered.” In David J. Kyle and Rey Koslowski, eds., Global Human Smuggling: Comparative Perspective. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001). Pp.29-57. Reprinted in Peggy Leavitt and Sanjeev Khagram, eds., The Transnational Studies Reader: Intersections and Innovations, (New York: Routledge, 2008). 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.

1994

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. Pp. 267-284.

 

Refereed Research Articles

 

2021

 

Amy L. Best, Katie Kerstetter, John Dale & Samantha Retrosi. “The Strength of Civic Ties: Connecting Civic Engagement and Professional Attainment among Educated Immigrants in the United States.” Community, Work & Family. DOI: 10.1080/13668803.2021.2008876

2016

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

2015

Dale, John and David Kyle. “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.

2010

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

2008

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

2008

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), Special Issue on “Legal Pluralism,” Available at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/elj/lgd/

1993

Dale, John (with photographs by Margaret Morton). “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.

 

Book Reviews

 

2022

Dale, John G. Review of The Colonialism of Human Rights: Ongoing Hypocrisies of Western Liberalism by Colin Samson. Contemporary Sociology. (Forthcoming).

2016

Dale, John G. “Overcoming Global Inequalities.” Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews,  Vol. 45., No. 4 (July). Pp. 516-519.

2013

Dale, John G. “Internal Affairs: How the Structure of NGOs Transforms Human Rights.” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 119, No. 3 (November). Pp. 875-877.

2013

Dale, John G. “Making Waves: Worldwide Social Movements, 1750-2005.” Journal of World Systems Research, (Vol. 19, No. 1 (March). Pp. 171-174.

2010

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

2009

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.

2007

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,). Pp.106-107.

 

Review Essay

 

2005

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, No. 1. Pp. 288-295.

 

Encyclopedia Articles

 

2011

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).

2008

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)

2007

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.

 

Book Manuscript in Progress

 

 

Dale John G. Hacking Human Rights

 

Grants and Fellowships

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Invitational Research Fellowship in Japan, October 2021-January 2022.

George Mason University Faculty Development Grant ($6,000) May, 2021.

George Mason University Faculty Study Leave Award, Fall Semester, 2021.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Residential Fellowship, and affiliation with Science, Technology, and Innovation Program, to research and work on book manuscript. September 2019- May 2020.

George Mason University Provost PhD Program Grant (with Nancy Hanrahan). Competitive university-wide grant for the Sociology PhD Program. ($475,000), 2018-2021.

George Mason University Provost PhD Program Grant. Competitive university-wide grant for the Sociology PhD Program. ($406,800), 2015-2018.

Corporation for National and Community Service. Co-principal Investigator (with Jim Witte, Amy Best, and Shannon Davis). Grant to study the impact of immigrant civic engagement on socio-economic mobility in seven cities across the United States. ($350,000), October, 2015; and renewed in June, 2017.

Society for the Study of Social Problems. Awarded funding from Board of Directors to organize and moderate a special panel session at the 2015 Annual Meeting that I proposed for convening international graduate student scholars from multiple continents of the global South (Myanmar, Honduras, Bolivia, and Egypt) conducting social research on transnational conflict. ($5000), 2014-2015.

George Mason University Faculty Study Leave Award, Fall Semester, 2014.

Society for the Study of Social Problems. Awarded funding 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) additional $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 organize a one-day international conference on “Re-Imagining Human Rights: The Challenge of Agency, Creativity, and Global Justice,” (http://www.sssp1.org/index.cfm/pageid/1635/ ). ($7,500), 2013.

George Mason University Provost PhD Program Grant (with Amy Best). Competitive university-wide grant for the Sociology PhD Program. ($405,500), 2012-2015.

Center for Global Studies. Faculty Research Grant for project titled, “Just Practicing? The Transnational Production of Human Rights in Burma.” ($2,500), 2010-2011.

George Mason University Provost. Awarded stipend to travel to Moscow to strengthen educational partnership and explore potential for a joint human rights certificate program between our Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the State University – Higher School of Economics’ Department of Public Policy and Department of Sociology in Moscow, Russian Federation. ($4,200), 2010.

Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme [International Federation of Human Rights], based in Paris, France. Grant for travel to Bangkok, Thailand to conduct interviews with the Burma Lawyer’s Council, 80 NGOs from the Global North and South, and Burmese and ethnic nationalist minority activist groups from Burma, and to conduct field 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. ($5,000), 2009.

George Mason University Fenwick Fellowship (with Tony Samara). Funding, part-time research assistant, and library office space for research project: Transnational Justice and Legal Discourse in the Making of Extraordinary Rendition. ($5,000), 2007-2008.

George Mason University Faculty Study Leave Award, Fall Semester, 2007.

National Endowment for the Humanities. Visiting Scholarship Award at Columbia University. Grant to develop visiting scholar publication and participate in 8-week colloquium on “Human Rights in an Age of Globalization.” ($4,500), 2005.

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.

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)

Classical Sociological Theory (SOCI 711)

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)

Big Data, Technology, and Society (SOCI 391)

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, and certificate in Social Theory and Comparative History, 2003.

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

B.A., Sociology, Wheaton College, and certificate in Human Needs and Global Resources, 1987.

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, 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

Sean Doody, Mapping Discourse in the Intellectual Dark Web: A Critical Computational Sociology (2022)

Stephanie Trapnell , Contesting Open Government: Discourse, Development, and Democracy (2021)

Jason Smith, Deliberating Diversity: Race and Gender in FCC Ownership Debates, 2007-2011 (2019)

Avideh Mayville, The Transformation of “Capacity” in International Development: USAID, Statecraft, and the Rise of Global Terror and Transnational Militancy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 1977-2017 (2018)

Abdallah Hendawy, Reluctant Radicals: from Democratic Aspiration to Violent Conspiration in the Wake of Egypt’s Arab Spring (2018)

Melissa C. Gouge, Generating Solidarity: The Playful Politics of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (2018)

William Roche, Implementing the International "Responsibility to Protect": A Sociological Case Study of the Institutional Practices of United States Department of Defense towards Operationalizing Humanitarian Intervention (2017)

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

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

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