Julian Go
Julian Go B.A. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 1992
M.A. University of Chicago, 1995
Ph.D.University of Chicago, 2000
Office: Social Sciences 319 Phone: Email Interests:

Empire, colonialism and postcolonial thought, historical sociology, social theory, global and transnational sociology, politics and culture, race and ethnicity

Professor and Interim Chair (2024-2025); Faculty Affiliate in the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, & Culture and the Committee on International Relations

Visit Julian Go's website

Julian Go’s research explores the social logics, forms and impact of empires and colonialism; postcolonial/decolonial thought and related questions of social theory, epistemology, and knowledge; and global historical sociology. 

Much of Go’s work has focused on the US empire, resulting in articles and books such as 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) and Patterns of Empire: the British and American Empires, 1688 to Present (Cambridge University Press, 2011). His other work is on postcolonial thought and social theory, culminating in his book Postcolonial Thought and Social Theory, Oxford, 2016; and global historical sociology and transnational field theory: Fielding Transnationalism (co-edited with Monika Krause, Wiley & Sons, 2016) and Global Historical Sociology, co-edited with George Lawson (Cambridge, 2016). 

His most recent book, Policing Empires: Militarization and Race in Britain and America, 1829-present (Oxford, 2023) explores imperialism’s impact upon police militarization in the US and Britain. He is also working on a project that recovers anticolonial thought as a critical form of social theory.

His scholarship has won prizes from the American Sociological Association, the Eastern Sociological Society, the American Political Science Association, and the International Studies Association, among other institutions. He is the winner of Lewis A. Coser Award for Theoretical Agenda Setting in Sociology given by the American Sociological Association. In 2021-2022, Julian serves as the President of the Social Science History Association.

Recent Research / Recent Publications


Go, Julian. September 2023. Policing Empires: Race, Imperialism and Militarization in the US and Great Britain, 1829-present. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Go, Julian. 2023. “Social Perspectival Realism and Theoretical Innovation.” Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory.

Go, Julian. "Reverberations of Empire: How the Colonial Past Shapes the Present.” Social Science History.

Go, Julian. 2023. “Anticolonial Thought, the Sociological Imagination, and Social Science: A Reply to Critics.” British Journal of Sociology.

Go, Julian. 2023. “Thinking Against Empire: Anticolonial Thought as Social Theory.” British Journal of Sociology. Online first.

Go, Julian. 2021. “Three Tensions in the Theory of Racial Capitalism.” Sociological Theory. Online first https://doi.org/10.1177/0735275120979822

Go, Julian. 2021. “From Crime Fighting to Counter Insurgency: The Transformation of London’s Special Patrol Group in the 1970s." Small Wars & Insurgencies.