About Jim

I earned a PhD in sociology at Johns Hopkins University, where I had the very good fortune to study with two young professors who were early proponents of Immanuel Wallerstein’s world-system perspective on the development of capitalism.  In that perspective, I found the potential to connect my love of intellectual challenges with my desire to bring more justice to the world, and I became deeply interested in workforce trends and the creation of work and income opportunities in society.

I also write papers on Immanuel Wallerstein’s world-systems analytic perspective and post them to ResearchGate.  Click here to visit my ResearchGate profile page.

I opted out of a traditional academic career.  Over the years since graduate school  I combined working with human service organizations and teaching sociology courses part-time at community colleges.  I have managed a homeless shelter; taught computer classes, academic courses, and job readiness skills to people in welfare-to-work programs; worked for a community development credit union in a low-income community; and provided Medicare and Medicaid counseling to low-income seniors.  I did a four year stint (the last two working on workforce development issues) as a research associate with a Michigan organization engaged in policy analysis and advocacy on behalf of low-income families.

Having partially retired, I now have the time to develop and present a perspective on U.S. labor force trends and employment issues that I have been informally working on for twenty-five years.  I also have time to pursue my interest in the theory and methods of historical sociology.


PhD, Sociology, Johns Hopkins University

My graduate studies included courses in research methods, statistics (including econometrics), and two economics courses, in addition to  topical sociology courses.  My dissertation work included extensive research into the economic and political history of the U.S. in the first half of  the 19th century.

BA, Sociology, University of Central Florida

Relevant Publications and Papers

Working papers on Immanuel Wallerstein’s World-Systems Analytic Theory.  These are unpublished papers posted on ResearchGate since July 2018.  They are in PDF format and can be easily downloaded.

Wallerstein and Others on the Origins of Modern Capitalism: An Assessment of Explanatory Authority Differences

A Way Forward for World-Systems Analysis by Developing its Systems Theory Elements

Specifying Empirical Units of Analysis in World- Systems Research: A Research Note

Incorporating Nature into the World-Systems Research Architecture

Societal Change Agency in the World-Systems Research Architecture

Wallerstein’s Division of Labor Concept and Crises of the Modern World-System

Research Architecture of the World-Systems Perspective: A Working Paper

Replacing the Concept of Externalities to Analyze Constraints on Global Economic Growth and Move Toward a New Economic Paradigm, Cadmus, October 19, 2014.

Lead writer, Working for a Living in Michigan: State Workforce Policies and Low-Income Workers, report published by the Michigan League for Human Services, May 2003.

Contributing writer, Out of Date and Out of Reach: Michigan’s Unemployment System Needs Repair, report published by the National Employment Law Project and the Michigan League for Human Services, March 2002.

With Bill Harvey, a series of 6 articles on labor issues, The Baltimore Chronicle, Baltimore City, September 1989 – April 1990.

With Michael Timberlake, “Structure of the Labor Force in the World System,” in Michael Timber (Ed.), Urbanization in the World Economy.  New York: Academic Press, 1985.

States, Capitalist Competition, and the Movement to Civil War in the United States, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, 1984.

“Political Regionalism and Struggles for State Hegemony,” in Richard B. Rubinson (Ed.), Dynamics of World Development. Beverly Hills: Sage, 1981.