The Center for Work and Democracy will bring social scientific expertise to bear on the need for rebuilding popular voice in an increasingly plutocratic US.

The core thesis of the Center is that the biggest problem that confronts efforts to realize democracy and economic justice is not a lack of policy ideas or an absence of support or resources, but the limitations of politics itself.

The goal of the Center is to produce work that contributes to rebuilding a politics that reflects the aspirations and policy priorities of working people. The Center will contribute to social scientific discussions of the political moment and develop a political social science that is more relevant for the challenges of the twenty-first century. The Center will diagnose contemporary forms of social domination, inequality, solidarity, and popular power in order to understand the possibilities and limitations present in popular politics.

The Center’s work is organized into core themes that are determined by the director, the steering committee, and faculty associates. The Center will achieve these goals by contributing to research, teaching, and convening conversations, workshops and conferences that endeavor to reach the academic community and the broader public.

Center Themes, 2019-2020

Past Events

  • November 1st—2nd, 2019
    Green New Deal Conference, University Club
  • November 18, 2019
    Jake Rosenfeld, “The U.S. Labor Movement: Past, Present, and Why Its Future Matters for You”
  • February 6-7, 2020
    Gender and Labor Migration Symposium

About the Director

Michael McQuirre
Michael McQuirre, Center Dir (ACD) & Asc Professor

Michael McQuarrie holds a Ph.D in sociology from New York University, was tenured at the University of California, Davis, and has spent the last seven years as an Associate Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on democratic politics, urban governance, and civil society. His research has appeared in numerous journals including Politics and Society, the British Journal of Sociology, City and Community, Public Culture, and the ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. He has edited volumes on political participation and urban governance. His public facing work has appeared in numerous global outlets including:, Public Culture, The Hindustan Times, Shelterforce, New Politics, openDemocracy, and Newsweek online. Among his media appearances is as an expert commentator for the award-winning, Al Jazeera English documentary, The People vs. America. He has been a research fellow at the International Inequalities Institute (London School of Economics), the Institute for Public Knowledge (New York University), and the University of California, and was a BMW Foundation Young Leader.

He has received funding from the Social Sciences Research Council, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to starting his Ph.D, he was a labor organizer in West Virginia, Ohio, and New York and a community organizer in the South Bronx.