The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Cedric de Leon

Professor of Sociology & Labor Studies


Cedric de Leon is Professor of Sociology and Labor Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has published five books including Crisis! When Political Parties Lose the Consent to Rule (2019) and The Origins of Right to Work (2015). He writes on race, labor, and party politics and teaches courses in social theory, political sociology, organizing, and intersectionality. From 2018 to 2022, Cedric directed the UMass Amherst Labor Center, the country's premier worker-side graduate program in Labor Studies. He was the first person of color to do so. Prior to becoming an academic, he was an elected leader and staff organizer in the U.S. labor movement.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of Michigan, 2004

Research Areas

Labor and Labor Movements; Race and Ethnic Relations; Political Sociology; Comparative Historical Sociology; Social Theory


Janoski, Thomas, Cedric de Leon, Joya Misra, and Isaac Martin (eds). 2020. The New Handbook of Political Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

de Leon, Cedric. 2019. Crisis! When Political Parties Lose the Consent to RuleStanford: Stanford University Press.

de Leon, Cedric. 2015. The Origins of Right to Work: Antilabor Democracy in Nineteenth-Century Chicago. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.

de Leon, Cedric, Manali Desai, and Cihan Tugal (eds). 2015. Building Blocs: How Parties Organize Society. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

de Leon, Cedric. 2014. Party and Society: Reconstructing a Sociology of Democratic Party Politics. Cambridge: Polity.

Selected Journal Articles & Book Chapters

Foote, Aaron C. and Cedric de Leon. Forthcoming. "Origins of the Flint Water Crisis: Uneven Development, Urban Political Ecology, and Racial Capitalism." City & Community

de Leon, Cedric. 2023. "Creative Destruction in the Afterlife of Slavery." Labor Studies Journal 48 (3): 251-257.

de Leon, Cedric. 2023. "The Case for an Eclectic Mass Movement." New Labor Forum 32 (1): 80-86.

de Leon, Cedric and Michael Rodriguez-Muñiz. 2022. “The Political Sociology of W.E.B. Du Bois.” Oxford Handbook of W.E.B. Du Bois, edited by Aldon Morris, Walter Allen, Karida Brown, Dan Green, Marcus Hunter, Cheryl Johnson-Odim, and Michael Schwartz. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Online edition:

de Leon, Cedric and Andy Clarno. 2020. "Power." Pp. 35-52 in The New Handbook of Political Sociology, edited by Thomas Janoski, Cedric de Leon, Joya Misra, and Isaac Martin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Daniel, Meghan and Cedric de Leon. 2020. "Leadership Succession in Intersectional Mobilization: An Analysis of the Chicago Abortion Fund, 1985-2015." Mobilization 25 (4): 461-474.

de Leon, Cedric. 2019. "The Unbroken South: Political Parties and the Articulation of White Supremacy." Research in the Sociology of Organizations 60: 49-68.

Vithayathil, Trina, Diana Graizbord, and Cedric de Leon. 2019. “The Retreat to Method: The Aftermath of Elite Concession to Civil Society in India and Mexico.” Studies in Comparative International Development 54 (1): 19-39.

de Leon, Cedric. 2017. “The Crisis Sequence: The Case of Secessionism in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.Journal of Historical Sociology 30 (3): 518-544.

de Leon, Cedric. 2016. “Black from White: How the Rights of White and Black Workers Became ‘Labor’ and ‘Civil’ Rights after the U.S. Civil War.Labor Studies Journal 42 (1): 1-17 (Lead article).

Agartan, Kaan and Cedric de Leon. 2016. “Interns and Infidels: The Transformation of Work and Citizenship in Turkey and the United States under Neo-liberalism.Global Labour 7 (3): 220-239 (Lead article).

de Leon, Cedric. 2011. “The More Things Change: A Gramscian Genealogy of Barack Obama’s ‘Post-Racial’ Politics.” Guest Editor: Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. Political Power and Social Theory 22: 75-104.

de Leon, Cedric. 2010. “Vicarious Revolutionaries: Martial Discourse and the Origins of Mass Party Competition in the United States, 1789-1848.” Studies in American Political Development 24 (1): 121-141.

de Leon, Cedric, Manali Desai, and Cihan Tugal. 2009. “Political Articulation: Parties and the Constitution of Cleavages in the U.S., India, and Turkey.Sociological Theory 27 (3): 193-219 (Lead article).

de Leon, Cedric. 2008. “No Bourgeois Mass Party, No Democracy: The Missing Link in Barrington Moore’s American Civil War.Political Power and Social Theory 19: 39-82.

Selected Presentations

de Leon, Cedric. 2022. "Black Souls or Black Labor? A Du Boisian Vision for the U.S. Labor Movement." Distinguished Lecture, Haverford College, Oct. 26, Haverford

de Leon, Cedric. 2022. "For an Eclectic Mass Movement." Plenary address, Labor and Labor Movements Mini-Conference, ASA Annual Meeting, Aug. 5, Los Angeles.

de Leon, Cedric. 2021. "In Search of James Baldwin." Lois Gray Labor Innovation Initiative Convening on Labor in the 21st Century, Cornell ILR School, March 26, Remote.

de Leon, Cedric. 2020. "Confronting Police Unions and Institutional Racism in the Labor Movement." Labor Research and Action Network, Aug. 19, Remote.

de Leon, Cedric. 2019. "Why 1861? Slavery, Settler Colonialism, and the Coming of the U.S. Civil War." Department of Sociology, Northwestern University, Sept. 26, Evanston.

de Leon, Cedric. 2019. "The Tactics of Mobilization, the Ethics of Care." Plenary address, Du Boisian Scholar Network, May 5, Providence.

de Leon, Cedric. 2019. "The Origins of Right to Work." Plenary address, National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education, April 8, New York City.

de Leon, Cedric. 2018. "Du Bois's Theory of Simultaneous Struggle and the Crisis of Postracial Neoliberalism." Plenary address, Sesquicentennial Symposium Honoring W.E.B. Du Bois, Harvard University, Oct. 26, Cambridge.

de Leon, Cedric. 2018. "Failure of the Establishment." Havens Center for the Study of Social Justice, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Oct. 15, Madison.

Desai, Manali and Cedric de Leon. 2017. "A Sequential Analysis of Left, Right, and Failed Ethnic Nationalisms." Social Science Research Council and the University of Gottingen, Aug. 18, Gottingen, Germany.

Selected Honors

ASA Council (Elected), 2021-

Chair-Elect, ASA Section on Comparative and Historical Sociology (Elected), 2023-

Chair, ASA Section on Labor and Labor Movements (Elected), 2022-

ASA Program Committee, 2020-2022

Consulting Editor, American Journal of Sociology, 2018-2021

Editorial Board, Sociological Theory, 2019-2021

SSHA Executive Committee (Elected), 2016-2019

ASA Committee on Nominations (Elected), 2017-2018

Editorial Board, Social Problems, 2015-2018

Editorial Board, Contemporary Sociology, 2015-2018

Secretary-Treasurer, ASA Section on Political Sociology (Elected), 2015-2018

Section Council, ASA Section on Comparative and Historical Sociology (Elected), 2014-2017