Julian Go

Julian Go


PhD, University of Chicago (2000)

Sociology 263 | 617.358.0638 | juliango@bu.edu


Network: Political Power and Social Theory

Curriculum Vitae: PDF

BIO: Julian Go is Professor of Sociology at Boston University. Previously he was an Academy Scholar at the Academy for International and Area Studies of Harvard University. At BU, he is also a Faculty Affiliate in Asian Studies and the American Studies/New England Studies program. He has been a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Lucerne University in Switzerland, and the Third World Studies Center at the University of the Philippines. He is former elected member of the Council and most recently Chair (2012-13) of the Comparative-Historical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. He is currently an elected council member of the Global & Transnational Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. He is on the editorial boards of the journals Social Science History and the American Journal of Cultural Sociology. Julian is also the editor of Political Power and Social TheoryHe received his B.A. in Sociology & Political Science from the University of Michigan (1992), his M.A. in sociology from the University of Chicago (1995) and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago (2000).

Julian has won the Wisneski Teaching Award for the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University and the Templeton Award for Excellence in Student Advising.

RESEARCH & TEACHING: Julian’s teaching and research areas include comparative-historical sociology; empires, colonialism and post colonialism; social theory; global sociology; and politics & culture. His award-winning scholarship explores the sociology of empires, colonial encounters, postcolonial global formations, and postcolonial thought. Much of his early work has focused upon the United States empire. This research has resulted in various articles and various book projects, which include: The American Colonial State in the Philippines: Global Perspectives (co-edited with Anne Foster, Duke University Press, 2003),  American Empire and the Politics of Meaning (Duke University Press, 2008) (co-winner of the Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book from the Sociology of Culture Section of the American Sociological Association and Finalist for the Philippines National Book Award), and Patterns of Empire: the British and American Empires, 1688 to Present (Cambridge University Press, 2011), which won the prize for Best Book in Global &  Transnational Sociology from the American Sociological Association, the American Political Science Association’s J. David Greenstone Book Award for the Best Book in Politics and History in 2010 and 2011, the 2013 Francesco Guicciardini Prize for Best Book in Historical International Relations from the International Studies Association, and was one of Choice’s “Outstanding Academic Titles” in 2012.

More recently Julian has been writing about postcolonial thought and social theory and global historical sociology, culminating in his book, Postcolonial Thought and Social Theory (Oxford),  Fielding Transnationalism (co-edited with Monika Krause, Wiley & Sons) on how Bourdieusian field theory can be rescaled for a transnational and global sociology, and Global Historical Sociology, co-edited with George Lawson (Cambridge U. Press).



Interviewed on the podcast show of the Centre for International Policy Studies, University of Ottawa

Interviewed on Radio Pacifica’s “Against the Grain” radio program.

In The New Left Project on Patterns of Empire, interviewed by Alex Doherty

On Political Power and Social Theory, interviewed by Margaret Adolphus

On American Empire and the Politics of Meaning, interviewed by Karen Barkey from Trajectories


Recent Books

2016. Postcolonial Thought & Social Theory (Oxford University Press)


2011. Patterns of Empire: the British and American Empires, 1688 to Present (Cambridge University Press).

Winner, Prize for Best Book in Global & Transnational Sociology, American Sociological Association, 2012

Winner, American Political Science Association J. David Greenstone Book Award for the best book in Politics and History in 2010 and 2011

Winner, the 2013 Francesco Guicciardini Prize for Best Book in Historical International Relations from the International Studies Association

Choice Magazine, “Outstanding Academic Title” of 2012


2008. American Empire and the Politics of Meaning: Elite Political Cultures in the Philippines and Puerto Rico. Duke University Press.

Co-Winner, Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book, Sociology of Culture Section, American Sociological Association, 2009

Finalist, National Book Awards, Philippines, 2009.


Edited Books

Go, Julian and George Lawson (eds). In Press. Global Historical Sociology. Cambridge University Press.

Go, Julian and Monika Krause (eds). 2016. Fielding Transnationalism. Wiley & Sons. Sociological Review Monograph Series.

2013. Editor, Postcolonial Sociologies: A Reader. Emerald Publishers

2003. co-edited with Anne Foster. The American Colonial State in the Philippines: Global Perspectives. Durham: Duke University Press.


Recent Articles & Chapters

In Press. “Global Sociology, Turning South: Perspectival Realism and the Southern Standpoint.“ Sociologica: Italian Journal of Sociology. With Response to comments: “In Defense of the Southern Standpoint: A friendly response to Beigel, Crothers, and Keim.”

Forthcoming. “Postcolonial Thought as Social Theory,“ in Social Theory Now, Claudio Benezcry, Monika Krause, Isaac Reed, eds.. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

2016. “W(h)ither the social? On the imperial episteme and Economy of Force.” Security Dialogue 47(3): 201-207.

2016. “Ilustrado Transnationalism: Filipino Politics across the Empires, 1880s-1910s“ pp. 128-149 in Augusto Espiritu and Martin Manalansan (eds.), Filipino Studies: Palimpsests of Nation and Diaspora. New York: NYU Press

2015. “Anti-Imperialism in the United States Territories, 1898-1950s“ in Jay Sexton and Ian Tyrell (eds.), Empire’s Twin: U.S. Anti-imperialism from the Founding Era to the Age of Terrorism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

2014. Capital, Containment and Competition: The Dynamics of British Imperialism, 1730-1939. Social Science History (accepted 4/30/14; scheduled for Volume 38(1-2): 43-69.

2014. “The Historical Sociology of Empires: Response to Critics (part of book forum on Patterns of Empire) Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 34(3): 644-651

2014. “Beyond Metrocentrism: Empire and Globalism in Early US Sociology.” Journal of Classical Sociology 14(2): 178-202.

2014. “Occluding the Global: Analytic Bifurcation, Causal Scientism, and Alternatives in Historical Sociology.“ Journal of Globalization Studies 5(1): 122-136.

2013. “Introduction: Entangling Postcoloniality and Sociological Thought” Political Power and Social Theory: Postcolonial Sociologies (A Special Volume) 24: 3-31.

2013.A global-historical sociology of power: on Mann’s concluding volumes to The sources of social power” (Review Essay) International Affairs 89(6)

2013. “For a Postcolonial Sociology.” Theory & Society 42(1): 25-55

2013. “Fanon’s Postcolonial Cosmopolitanism.” European Journal of Social Theory 16(2): 208-225

2013. “Decolonizing Bourdieu: Colonial and Postcolonial Theory in Pierre Bourdieu’s Early Work. Sociological Theory 31(1)

2013. “Sociology’s Imperial Unconscious: Early American Sociology in a Global Context.” inSociology and Empire, edited by George Steinmetz. Durham: Duke University Press.

For more and pre-2013 articles: see PDF for complete publications list.