John Foran
Social Sciences and Media Studies Bldg 3417

John Foran is professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is also involved with the programs in Latin American and Iberian Studies, Global and International Studies, Environmental Studies, and the Bren School. He was visiting professor of sociology and Latin American Studies at Smith College from 2000 to 2002, and Visiting Professor of Sociology at Goldsmith's College, University of London, from 2009 to 2010.

His current areas of intense focus and interest include the climate crisis, 21st-century movements for radical social change, and sustainable development or “building better futures.”

His books include the multiple award-winning Taking Power: On the Origins of Revolutions in the Third World (Cambridge, 2005), in which he presents a new theory of the causes of revolutions in Latin America, to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, spanning the period from 1910 to the present, and a comprehensive Marxist history of Iran up to the revolution:  Fragile Resistance: Social Transformation in Iran from 1500 to the Revolution (Westview, 1993; available as a free pdf).  His six edited or co-edited volumes touch on issues of revolution, radical social change, and women, culture and development, and can be found on his cv, along with numerous other publications.

He is currently working on a book, Taking Power or (Re)Making Power:  Movements for Radical Social Change and Global Justice, which assesses the new forms of such movements as the Zapatista  and Kerala experiments, the global justice movement, the Pink Tide in Latin America, the global Occupy movements, the Arab Spring, and his new passion, the global climate justice movement.

His reports and essays on the global struggle for climate justice can be found at the websites of the Climate Justice Project and the International Institute of Climate Action and Theory.  He is involved in an initiative of activist scholars and others on the UN climate treaty negotiations, which can be found at