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Richard Appelbaum, Ph.D. - Fielding Graduate University. Santa Barbara, CA, US

Richard Appelbaum, Ph.D.

Doctoral Faculty - School of Leadership Studies | Fielding Graduate University

Santa Barbara, CA, UNITED STATES

Globalization; social and ecological sustainability; world-systems theory; the globalization of business and workers' rights




Richard Appelbaum, Ph.D. Publication Richard Appelbaum, Ph.D. Publication Richard Appelbaum, Ph.D. Publication Richard Appelbaum, Ph.D. Publication Richard Appelbaum, Ph.D. Publication Richard Appelbaum, Ph.D. Publication Richard Appelbaum, Ph.D. Publication Richard Appelbaum, Ph.D. Publication Richard Appelbaum, Ph.D. Publication



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Advice for sociology grad students from Deborah Carr and Richard Appelbaum Professor Richard Appelbaum Why sociology is not the What can sociology tell us about the economic collapse and the changing world economy? Richard Appelbaum: The Chinese Century? Some Foreign Policy Implications of China’s Move to High-Tech Innovation




Richard P. Appelbaum, Ph.D., has been associated with Fielding Graduate University since shortly after it was founded, more than forty years ago, and currently serves as doctoral faculty in the School of Leadership Studies.

He is also Research Professor Emeritus, and former MacArthur Foundation Chair in Global and International Studies and Sociology, at UC Santa Barbara, where he served as co-principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Nanotechnology in Society (http://www.cns.ucsb.edu/).

He received his B.A. from Columbia University, M.P.A. from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He has been a Simon Visiting Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Manchester, England, and an Honorary Visiting Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of Hong Kong.

Dr. Appelbaum has received numerous awards and commendations for excellence in teaching, including the UCSB Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award in the Social Sciences. He is an elected Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served as President of the Political Economy of the World-System Section of the American Sociological Association. He is on the Board of Consulting Editors of the Encyclopedia of Housing and the Encyclopedia of Global Studies.

Dr. Appelbaum has published extensively in the areas of social theory, urban sociology, public policy, the globalization of business, and the sociology of work and labor. In addition to numerous scholarly papers, he has published policy-related and opinion pieces in the Los Angeles Times and The American Prospect. His books include States and Economic Development in the Asian Pacific Rim (with Jeffrey Henderson; Sage, 1992); Behind the Label: Inequality in the Los Angeles Garment Industry (with Edna Bonacich; University of California Press, 2000); Rules and Networks: The Legal Culture of Global Business Transactions (co-edited with William Felstiner and Volkmar Gessner; Oxford, England: Hart, 2001). For more publications, see Media, Links and Articles in the faculty profile.

Dr. Appelbaum is currently engaged in two principal research projects: a multi-disciplinary study of labor conditions in supply chain networks in the Asian-Pacific Rim, and a study of high technology development (focusing on nanotechnology) in China.

Industry Expertise (3)

International Trade and Development



Areas of Expertise (14)

Global Political Economy

World Systems

Labor Markets and Global Production

East Asia and the Global Economy

Technology and Development


Global and International Studies

Social and Ecological Sustainability

Workers' Rights

Public Speaking

Grant Writing

Non Profits

Community Outreach

Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Accomplishments (7)

Chapter Award (professional)

(2010) Awarded by the American Planning Association

MacArthur Chair in Global and International Studies, Sociology (professional)

(2010) Dr. Richard Appelbaum and UCSB history professor Nelson Lichtenstein will pursue joint programming and research focused on the theme of "Human Rights in the Workplace: At Home and Abroad."

Finalist, C. Wright Mills Award (professional)

(2001) Awarded by the Society for the Study of Social Problems for "Behind the Label"

Best Book Award : "Behind the Label" (professional)

(2001) Awarded by the Marxist Section of the American Sociological Association

Douglas McGregor Award for Excellence in Behavioral Science Research (professional)

(2001) Awarded by the Political Economy of the World-System (PEWS) Section of the American Sociological Association

Los Angeles Times Award (professional)

(2000) Awarded for the best 100 works of non-fiction, for "Behind the Label"

Competition and Change: The Journal of Global Business and Political Economy (professional)

(1998-Present) Co-Founder and Editor Emeritus

Education (4)

University of Chicago: PhD, Sociology 1971

University of Chicago: MA, Sociology 1970

Princeton University: MPA, Public and International Affairs 1966

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Columbia University: BA, Public Law and Government 1964

Affiliations (10)

  • American Society for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) : Fellow
  • American Sociological Association : Member
  • Pacific Sociological Association : Member
  • National Worker Rights Consortium : Chair Advisory Council (2004)
  • Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) : Member Advisory Council
  • UC Office of the President : Member UC Advisory Committee on Trademark Licensing (1999-present) To develop UC Code of Conduct for licensed apparel
  • Center for Nanotechnology in Society : Co-PI and Executive Committee Member (2006-present)
  • Contemporary Politics : Editorial Board (2007-present)
  • Chad Relief Foundation : Founder and Secretary Board of Directors (2007-present) A local foundation that provides relief and development efforts to refugees from the Central African Republic Gore Region South Chad
  • Child Rights and Protection Consultancy-International (CRPCI) : Board Member (Current) An international NGO whos mission is "to strengthen protection of all children from violence and maltreatment by leveraging children's rights and developing child prote

Media Appearances (6)

Is US immigration policy 'STEMming' innovation?

Phys.org  online


As growing economies in Asia and Latin America devise incentives to reverse brain drain, it is more incumbent than ever upon policymakers to understand how the U.S. can maintain its leadership in technological innovation. Summing up the policy challenge, study co-author Richard Appelbaum, UCSB MacArthur Chair in Global and International Studies, explains, "While U.S. universities are failing to attract adequate numbers of U.S. students into STEM fields, countries such as China are sending STEM students to the U.S. in large numbers. This presents two important challenges to US policy-makers: attracting larger numbers of US students into STEM fields, and making it easier for highly qualified foreign STEM students to remain in the U.S. after completing their degrees or postdocs, for example through visa reforms."...

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Rich Appelbaum: Creating the Future

Santa Barbara Independent  online

(2015) Rich Appelbaum may be the most influential Santa Barbaran whom most people have never heard of. Certainly, his fingerprints are all over not just the South Coast’s political landscape but the actual streetscape itself. A quintessential activist-academic, Appelbaum — who recently announced his retirement as a sociology professor from UCSB — was a major contributor to the now-famous Impacts of Growth study, written in the 1970s, which functioned as the equivalent of the Ten Commandments for environmental activists then coming of age and seizing the reins of political power. Likewise Appelbaum’s work would have a profound effect on how State Street would evolve...

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STEMming reverse brain drain: What would make foreign students stay in the US?

Conversation with Richard Appelbaum's Postdoc, Shirley (Xueying) Han, about their Research, takes place  online


As a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I am part of an interdisciplinary research group headed by Richard Appelbaum that investigated international students' career choices and found that those interested in becoming entrepreneurs were most inclined to stay after graduation...

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Nicholas Kristof Keynotes UCSB Conference

Santa Barbara Independent  online


Nicholas Kristof writes a biweekly op-ed column for the New York Times. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes, and in 2011 he was a finalist for columns that focused on the world’s most impoverished and disenfranchised people. His just-released book, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, co-authored with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, combines scholarly research with concrete examples to show how ordinary people can make a difference in the world today...

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The Lost Dignity of Labor

The UC Santa Barbara Current  online


For UC Santa Barbara professors Richard Appelbaum and Nelson Lichtenstein, the event was a chilling worst-case scenario in the realm of workers’ rights. It was also a warning to be heeded in an increasingly globalized manufacturing industry, where accountability and responsibility for worker safety are becoming easier to ignore along the global supply chain...

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Richard Appelbaum Named MacArthur Foundation Chair

Fielding Graduate University News  online


Richard Appelbaum, PhD, affiliated with the School of Human & Organizational Development (HOD), has been named to one of two John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chairs at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He and UCSB history professor Nelson Lichtenstein will pursue joint programming and research focused on the theme of "Human Rights in the Workplace: At Home and Abroad."...

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Event Appearances (5)

The Chinese Century? Some Foreign Policy Implications of China’s Move to High-Tech Innovation

China Rising Conference  Bristol, United Kingdom


The U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative: Federal Support for Science and Technology, or Hidden Industrial Policy?

Developmental States and High-Tech Innovation: The Case of Nanotechnology – Can National Policies Make a Difference?  Madrid, Spain


Fighting Sweatshops: Challenges for Collegiate Purchasing and the Designated Supplier Program

Corporate Social Responsibility Training Program for UCLA Licenses  Los Angeles, CA


China’s Rise As a High Tech Power: Challenges and Opportunities

(February, 2011) Giri Deshingkar memorial Lecture  Delhi, India

Bringing Supply Chains Under Control: The Designated Suppliers Program

(October, 2010) Conference on Textiles in a Global World, University of Delaware  Newark, Delaware

Articles (19)

BOOK: Innovation in China: Challenging the Global Science and Technology System

Polity Press

Appelbaum, Richard, Cong Cao, Xueying (Shirley) Han, Rachel Parker, and Denis Simon

(2018) China is in the midst of transitioning from a manufacturing-based economy to one driven by innovation and knowledge. This up-to-date analysis evaluates China's state-led approach to science and technology, and its successes and failures.

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BOOK: Introduction to Sociology, Essentials edition: 7th Edition

W.W. Norton

Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, Richard P. Appelbaum), and Deborah Carr

(2018) Drawing on up-to-the-minute examples, cutting-edge research, and the most current data, Essentials of Sociology powerfully illustrates how a sociological imagination can make us more thoughtful members of our social world, better citizens, and more effective future workers. (NEW) “Employing Your Sociological Imagination” features highlight the practical value of sociology to a wide range of careers. Extensive pedagogy and innovative media help students not only succeed in the course, but also develop the skills necessary for life beyond college.

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China’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research environment: A snapshot

PLoS One

Han, Xueying (Shirley) and Richard Appelbaum

(2018) In keeping with China’s President Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream,” China has set a goal of becoming a world-class innovator by 2050. China’s higher education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) research environment will play a pivotal role in influencing whether China is successful in transitioning from a manufacturing-based economy to an innovation-driven, knowledge-based economy. Results of a survey indicated that while China has clearly made strides in its higher education system, there are numerous challenges that must be overcome before China can hope to effectively produce the kinds of innovative thinkers that are required if it is to achieve its ambitious goals. We also raise questions about the current direction of education and inquiry in China, particularly indications that government policy is turning inward, away from openness that is central to innovative thinking.

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Oxford Handbook of Global Studies

Appelbaum, Richard

(2018) Juergensmeyer, Mark, Saskia Sassen, and Manfred Steger (eds.) This is the first single volume to canvas all aspects of the emerging field of global studies, from theoretical approaches to the major issues and themes. The Handbook focuses on the field of global studies rather than the phenomenon of globalization itself.

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BOOK: Introduction to Sociology: 11th Edition

W.W. Norton

Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, Richard P. Appelbaum, and Deborah Carr

(2017) Authored by four leading scholars and teachers, Introduction to Sociology provides an authoritative introduction to basic concepts, major theories, and current research in a streamlined, easy-to-navigate format. A consistent four-part chapter structure makes the reading manageable without sacrificing coverage, while InQuizitive, Norton’s award-winning adaptive learning platform, helps ensure students are mastering the content. At the end of every chapter, a discussion of unanswered questions highlights the power of the sociological imagination to help us better understand our complex society.

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BOOK: Achieving Workers' Rights in the Global Economy

Cornell University Press

(2016) In Achieving Workers' Rights in the Global Economy, editors Richard P. Appelbaum and Nelson Lichtenstein argue that tragic events, such as the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in Dhaka in 2013—as well as the low wages, poor working conditions, and voicelessness endemic to the vast majority of workers who labor in the export industries of the global South—arise from the very nature of world trade and production.

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Inventory of nanotechnology companies in Mexico

Journal of Nanoparticle Research

(2016) This study presents an inventory of 139 nanotechnology companies in Mexico, identifying their geographic distribution, economic sector classification, and position in the nanotechnology value chain. We find that the principal economic sector of nanotechnology-engaged firms involves the manufacture of chemical products, which largely serve as means of production (primary or intermediate materials; instruments and equipment) for industrial processes. The methodology used in this analysis could be replicated in other countries without major modifications.

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China: Innovator or Follower?

The University of Nottingham, UK

(December 2014) In 2006, continuing its effort to achieve world-class status as an S&T innovator, the Chinese government launched its National Medium- and Long-Term Plan (MLP) for the Development of Science and Technology 2006-2020, making “indigenous innovation” its top developmental priority. China’s emphasis on indigenous innovation positions the Chinese state as a key driver of economic development.

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Observing regional divergence of Chinese nanotechnology centers

Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Yasuyuki Motoyama, Cong Cao, Richard Appelbaum

(January 2014, Vol. 81, pp. 11-21) While China has emerged as one of the world's leading technological innovators, past studies have uncovered that technology centers have been overwhelmingly concentrated in Beijing and Shanghai. We take a step further to investigate whether this geographic concentration has persisted over time with nanotechnology-related patents.

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“Research is high and the market is far away”: Commercialization of nanotechnology in China

Technology in Society

Richard P. Appelbaum, Rachel Parker, Cong Cao

(February 2013, Vol. 35, Issue 1, pp. 55-64) Based on fieldwork in China and secondary research, this paper examines the commercialization of nanotechnology in China from the intertwined perspectives of academia–industry relations, government support and policy, role of venture capital, and international connections, while also taking into account the views of Chinese nanoscientists.

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BOOK: Can Emerging Technologies Make a Difference in Development?


Rachel A. Parker, Richard P. Appelbaum

(2012) Scientists and practitioners from around the world provide evidence of the opportunities for, and the challenges of, developing collaborative approaches to bringing advanced and emerging technology to poor communities in developing countries in a responsible and sustainable manner.

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China’s Move to High-Tech Innovation: Some Regional Policy Implications

The Asia-Pacific, Regionalism and the Global System

Richard P. Appelbaum, Rachel Parker

(June 2012) Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham: Christopher Dent, Joern Dosch (eds.) China has emerged as a major economic player in recent years. Even as the United States, Europe and Japan are plagued with sluggish economic growth and growing financial strains, China continues with double-digit growth and sizeable surpluses of foreign revenues. This is in part a question about the role of the state in fostering economic development, and in broad terms about industrial policy.

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The National Nanotechnology Initiative: Federal support for science and technology, or hidden industrial policy?

Technology in Society

Motoyama, Yasuyuki, Appelbaum, Richard P. & Parker, Rachel

(2011) The case of the National Nanotechnology Initiative highlights elements of industrial policy carried out by the U.S. government not only by setting rules and providing infrastructure, but also by strategically selecting technology of the next generation and arranging large-scale public investment.

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China's New Labour Contract Law: Is China moving towards increased power for workers?

Third World Quarterly

Wang, Haiyan, Richard Appelbaum, Francesca de Giuli, and Nelson Lichtenstein

(2009) China's new labour law is a significant reform that offers workers greater employment security and income protection. It is a product of both unprecedented industrial unrest as well as the Chinese government's decision to move its economy to a higher- ...

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Giant transnational contractors in East Asia: Emergent trends in global supply chains

Competition and Change

Appelbaum, Richard

(2008) There is growing evidence that consolidation in consumer goods industries, with increasingly integrated production and distribution systems between large retailers and contractors, may be increasing the degree of vertical integration in global supply chains. ...

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A New World of Retail Supremacy: Supply Chains and Workers' Chains in the Age of Wal-Mart

Cambridge University Press on behalf of International Labor and Working-Class, Inc.

Richard Appelbaum and Nelson Lichtenstein

(2006) International Labor and Working-Class History No. 70, Globalization and the Latin-American Workplace pp. 106-125

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Toward spatially integrated social science

International Regional Science Review

Goodchild, Mike F., Luc Anselin, Richard P. Appelbaum, and Barbara Herr Harthorn

(2000) This article outlines the motivation for a spatial approach as a novel focus for cross-disciplinary interaction and research in the social and behavioral sciences. The authors review the emerging interest in space and place in the recent social science literature and ...

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Global and local subcontracting: Space, ethnicity, and the organization of apparel production

World Development

Christerson, Brad and Richard P. Appelbaum

(1995) Labor-intensive apparel production has shifted to low-wage Asian nations, yet continues to flourish in the United States and other high-wage areas. This paper explains this apparent contradiction by concluding that in addition to labor costs, firm size, ethnicity, market ...

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Scapegoating rent control: Masking the causes of homelessness

Journal of the American Planning Association

Appelbaum, Richard, Michael Dolny, Peter Dreier, and John Gilderbloom

(1991) While many analysts contend that a shortage of affordable housing is a principal cause of homelessness, one recent well-publicized study argues that housing shortages themselves—and hence homelessness—are ultimately the result of ill-conceived local ...

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