Photo of Justin Paulson

Justin Paulson

Associate Professor Department of Sociology & Anthropology

Degrees:PhD (University of California-Santa Cruz)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2938
Office:C768 Loeb Building

Areas of Interest

Justin Paulson is a political sociologist and social theorist teaching in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Institute of Political Economy. His seminars, courses, and directed readings typically address questions of social thought and critical theory, social change, and political economy. He has been nominated for a Capital Educators’ Award and is a recipient of a 2013 Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Teaching Award.

Ongoing research projects include longterm studies of the contingencies of social movement success and failure, the relationship between radical imagination and social movement development and strategy, and a book on the uneven reification of capital. Recent conference papers have focused on such topics as spaces and scales of organizing, activist subcultures and mutual aid, typologies of 21st-century social movements, reification and the spaces of capital, social movements and austerity, why movements decline, and neoliberal urbanism.

Dr. Paulson serves on the executive and editorial boards of the journals Studies in Political Economy and Mediations. He is also a member of the editorial collective of Red Quill Books, and serves on the advisory boards of Alternate Routes and Moment. He is also affiliated with the Duncombe Studio for Social and Cultural Analysis at Carleton.

Prior to joining Carleton in 2008, he taught at Seattle University and the University of California-Santa Cruz.


  • SOCI 2005 Classical Social Theory
  • SOCI 3005 Studies in Sociological Theory
  • SOCI 3430 Collective Action and Social Movements
  • SOCI 4010 Advanced Studies in Power and Stratification
  • SOCI 5804 Modern Marxist Theory
  • PECO 5000 Theories of Political Economy

Justin also offers directed reading courses on critical theory and social movements to advanced graduate students.

Graduate Student Supervision:

Justin is currently supervising seven PhD students in Sociology and several MA students in Political Economy. He is the second or third reader for numerous other PhD and MA committees in Sociology and Anthropology, Communications, and Political Economy.

Selected Publications:

Capitalism and Confrontation: Critical Perspectives (Red Quill Books, 2012).

“A Response to Workman’s ‘The Left After Politics’” (with Rebecca Schein). Studies in Political Economy (2012).

“On the Uneven Development of Radical Imagination.” Affinities (2011).

“Municipal Malaise” (with Carlo Fanelli). Reading Sociology (Oxford Univ. Press, 2010).

“Peasant Struggles and International Solidarity: The Case of Chiapas.” Socialist Register (2001).