Research Interests

Almeida’s research centers on the efficacy of collective mobilization in response to political and economic transitions. Dr. Almeida coordinates two ongoing research programs. One project examines civil society reactions to globalization and the implementation of market reforms. In particular, he studies the likelihood of the emergence of societal opposition over the adoption of economic liberalization policies such as austerity measures, structural adjustment, privatization, and free trade. Dr. Almeida’s work also analyzes the distribution and political outcomes of social movements directed at impending neoliberal policies. He has systematically documented dozens of large-scale campaigns whereby citizens mobilized to protect themselves from the outsourcing of vital necessities of health care, pensions, water/sewer services, and other utilities.  This research program is driven by a larger concern for understanding the conditions under which societies and communities successfully maintain access to basic public goods and services that became available through the expansion of social welfare in the twentieth century and that are increasingly under threat in the twenty-first century with the contraction of state commitments to social citizenship.

Dr. Almeida’s second area of research focuses on social movement dynamics in nondemocratic contexts. In this work, he investigates how excluded social groups with relatively few resources launch collective action campaigns to address social, economic, and political grievances under the conditions of repressive regimes such as military-controlled governments and other forms of authoritarian rule. Understanding social movement mobilization in authoritarian settings also offers insights into when and why political movements may radicalize their goals and tactics.

His articles have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Problems, Mobilization, and other scholarly outlets.  Almeida's books include: Mobilizing Democracy: Globalization and Citizen Protest (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014); Waves of Protest: Popular Struggle in El Salvador, 1925-2005 (University of Minnesota Press, 2008); and Latin American Social Movements: Globalization, Democratization and Transnational Networks (co-edited with Hank Johnston, 2006). His research has been funded by the World Society Foundation, UC MEXUS-CONACYT, UC Pacific Rim, and the Fulbright Faculty Fellowship Program. He teaches courses on globalization, formal organizations, sociological theory, environmental sociology, and social movements.

Almeida serves on the editorial advisory boards of Anuario de Estudios CentroamericanosLatin American Perspectives, Mobilization, Research in Political Sociology, Social Forces, and Sociology of Development. He participated as an international election observer for the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) referendum in Costa Rica in 2007, the Presidential Elections in El Salvador in 2009, and the Presidential, Parliamentary, and Municipal Elections in Honduras in 2013. He is currently the Chair Elect of the Political Economy of the World System Section (PEWS) and on the Council of the Global and Transnational Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.

Honors And Awards

2015-2017 Fulbright Scholar Award, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras
2015               Pacific Sociological Association, Distinguished Scholarship Award, for Book: Almeida, Paul. 2014. Mobilizing Democracy: Globalization and Citizen Protest. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
2014             American Sociological Association, Best Article Award, Section on the Political Economy of the World-System (PEWS)
2009             American Sociological Association, Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Article Award, Section on Labor and Labor Movements
2008-2009 Fulbright Scholar Award, Universidad de Costa Rica
2008         Ray A. Rothrock '77 Fellowship, College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University
2004              American Sociological Association, Best Published Article Award, Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements


Selected Publications 

  • Almeida, Paul D. and Linda Brewster Stearns. 1998. “Political Opportunities and Local Grassroots Environmental Movements: The Case of Minamata.” Social Problems 45(1): 37-60.
  • Almeida, Paul D. 2003. “Opportunity Organizations and Threat Induced Contention: Protest Waves in Authoritarian Settings.” American Journal of Sociology 109(2): 345-400. (2004 Winner of the ASA Best Published Article Award in the Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements)
  • Almeida, Paul D. and Mark I. Lichbach. 2003. “To the Internet, from the Internet: Comparative Media Coverage of Transnational Protest.” Mobilization 8(3): 249-272.
  • Stearns, Linda Brewster and Paul D. Almeida. 2004. "The Formation of State Actor-Social Movement Coalitions and Favorable Policy Outcomes.” Social Problems 51(4): 478-504. 
  • Almeida, Paul D. 2007. “Defensive Mobilization: Popular Movements against Economic Adjustment Policies in Latin America.” Latin American Perspectives 34(3): 123-139.
  • Almeida, Paul D. 2008. “The Sequencing of Success: Organizing Templates and Neoliberal Policy Outcomes.” Mobilization 13(2): 165-187. (2009 Winner of the ASA Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Article Award in the Section on Labor and Labor Movements)
  • Almeida, Paul D. 2010. “Social Movement Partyism: Collective Action and Political Parties.” Pp. 170-196 in N. Van Dyke and H. McCammon, eds,. Strategic Alliances: New Studies of Social Movement Coalitions. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Almeida, Paul D. 2012. “Subnational Opposition to Globalization.” Social Forces 90(4): 1051-1072. (2014 Winner of the ASA Best Published Article Award in the Section on the Political Economy of the World System)

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