Author Archives: William Carroll

Looking ahead to fall 2023

I am looking forward to teaching SOCI 535 this fall, Current Issues in Ecology, Global Sociology and Social Movements. The course will be centred upon critical social-scientific analysis of the climate crisis as it has developed within capitalist civilization. Our readings and discussions will emphasize political-economic, political-ecological and environmental-sociological readings of the crisis, centred upon historical materialism as an overarching theoretical perspective. We will unpack this complex phenomenon by looking into critical analyses of three interlaced dynamics: the global accumulation of capital, the struggle for hegemony, and the relations and practices of imperialism/colonialism. The trajectory of the course will extend from identifying and probing the problem of capitalism and climate breakdown to appraising proposed solutions and their advocates, including mainstream approaches now on centre stage and radical approaches such as ecosocialism and buen vivir, as advocated by green-left and Indigenous movements.

New book!

Regime of Obstruction: How Corporate Power Blocks Energy Democracy, an edited collection of studies from the Corporate Mapping Project, was published in April 2021 by AU Press. It is an open-access book, freely available as a pdf online. The weblink is here.

Welcome to my site.


My research interests are in the areas of the political economy/ecology of corporate capitalism, social movements and social change, and critical social theory and method. I have been a member of the Sociology Department at the University of Victoria 1981. With a fabulous group of colleagues, I established the Interdisciplinary Program in Social Justice Studies at the University of Victoria in 2008 and served as its director from 2008 to 2012. I am also a founding faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Program in Cultural, Political and Social Thought, and served as its director for part of the 1990s. My books include Regime of Obstruction: How Corporate Power blocks Energy Democracy, Organizing the 1% (with J.P. Sapinski), Expose, Oppose, Propose: Alternative Policy Groups and the Struggle for Global Justice, A World to Win: Contemporary Social Movements and Counter-Hegemony (with Kanchan Sarker), The Making of a Transnational Capitalist Class, Corporate Power in a Globalizing World, Remaking Media (with Bob Hackett), Critical Strategies for Social Research, Challenges and Perils: Social Democracy in Neoliberal Times (with R.S. Ratner) and Organizing Dissent.

I have recently completed editing The Elgar Companion to Antonio Gramsci, which will be published in January, 2024. My recently-completed project is Mapping the power of the carbon-extractive corporate resource sector, a SSHRC Partnership of six universities and five civil-society organizations, which has run from 2015 until 2023. I was co-director of the Partnership with Shannon Daub of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC. Our Corporate Mapping Project (CMP) blended public sociology with action research, as we investigated several modalities of corporate power and influence, focusing on fossil capital, within Canada and transnationally. In the CMP’s second half we widened our lens to explore how settler-colonial capitalism has been implicated in the regime, and to promote democratic alternatives to fossil capitalism. In 2015 I completed a four-year global-sociological study, Alternative policy groups and global civil society: Networks, discourses and practices of counter-hegemony — a community-engaged initiative in knowledge co-creation through participatory field research, among other research methods.

(Photograph By Bruce Stotesbury, Victoria Times Colonist)