Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith is professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh and editor of the Journal of World-Systems Research. She is author or editor of numerous books and articles on global organizing and social change, including Social Movements and World-System Transformation, Social Movements in the World-System: the Politics of Crisis and Transformation, and Social Movements for Global Democracy. She helps coordinate Pittsburgh’s Human Rights City Alliance and is a member of the steering committee of the US Human Rights Network’s Human Rights Cities Alliance.

Articles by this author

As “Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” celebrates the life and work of Fred Rogers, we can look to Rogers’s work for lessons on building a healthier world for our youth. (Photo: Fotos International/Courtesy of Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
The Health of Millennials (and those coming next) Can Benefit from Lessons of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
A recent Blue Cross-Blue Shield study of millennials health revealed startling declines in the health of younger generations, who suffer higher rates of major depression, hypertension, hyperactivity, type-II diabetes, and endocrine disorders, among others. Considering the social conditions shaping...
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Corporate-led development has contributed to spiraling housing costs and undermined people’s right to affordable and safe housing. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Views
Monday, October 28, 2019
Corporate Influence Threatens Human Rights in Communities Nationwide
In 2017, Amazon launched an unprecedented inter-city competition to see which municipality could offer the most generous package of public subsidies, tax breaks, and other incentives in exchange for becoming host to the 2nd headquarters of one of the world’s richest corporations. The company just...
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The goal of the human rights cities movement is to support local work that builds a bottom-up movement for a world where human rights are truly universal and indivisible. (Photo: Wendy Stone/Corbis via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Human Rights from the Ground Up
The following piece was originally published by the Great Transition Initiative , part of an online forum by the group focused on the potential for transformative local action. The Promise and Pitfalls of Localism If we look at some of the earliest critiques of the global capitalist system, they...
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Thinking is also dangerous, primarily to those in positions of power.(Photo: Pixabay/B_me. Pixabay Licence) Views
Monday, July 08, 2019
Why Busy-ness Is So Damaging
There never seems to be enough time to accomplish all the things we must do. Life gets busier and busier. But what does all that busy-ness add to our lives? Mainstream culture tells us that being busy is a virtue, so we want to be busy even if we complain about it. It means we’re productive and...
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Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Global Peasant Declaration Represents Huge Advance for Human Rights
Later this month, the United Nations General Assembly is expected to pass a new Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas, following more than a decade of work by La Via Campesina , or “the peasant’s way” and other social movements. Via Campesina came together in...
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(Photo via Flickr / Royce Blair / NASA) Views
Monday, April 21, 2014
Mother Earth Day 2014: Time for a Paradigm Change
With each day’s headlines it becomes more and more clear that our modern, industrialized culture is a suicide machine. Not only has our consumption of fossil fuels polluted our air, land, and water to an extent that threatens the long-term survival of humans and other species, but our political...
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Friday, April 19, 2013
People’s Movements Give “Earth Day” a New Name and Transformative Potential
Few Americans are aware that in 2009, the United Nations declared April 22nd “International Mother Earth Day.” In doing so, it made what had been a U.S. event an international one, drawing attention to the need for people to unite across national borders to confront global environmental challenges.
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Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Media Attention and the Political Impacts of Occupy Wall Street
This May Day brought unprecedented numbers of Americans out in the streets to mark international worker’s day. But in Pittsburgh, one wouldn’t know that a few hundred residents also gathered to protest the corporate behemoths whose buildings dominate the downtown landscape and whose policies have devastated our economy, our local community, and our health. While the local newspaper saw it fit to report on the May Day protests in Madrid, and the broken windows and arrests of activists in other parts of the country, our local event was ignored.
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Monday, December 26, 2011
Evict BNY Mellon, not Occupy Pittsburgh
On Dec. 13, BNY Mellon filed a court action seeking to evict the Occupy Pittsburgh encampment from Mellon Green, where occupiers have been peacefully protesting without complaints from the public or the city. This action is an attempt to squelch the vital public dialogue that the Occupy Wall Street movement has been advocating.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011
How Elite Media Strategies Marginalize the Occupy Movement
I took the decision by Foreign Affairs to report on the Occupy Wall Street protests as a sign that the movement was having some success. Not surprisingly, however, this favorite journal of foreign policy pundits offers “expert” commentary that reinforces a theme that has dominated corporate media coverage of the OWS movement.
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