Google Scholar page
Sociology Department page

Areas of specialization

Political Sociology—Transnational Governance, Regulation, Social Movements


Economic and Organizational Sociology—Institutional theory, Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Global Political Economy and Governance


Environmental and Sustainability Standards


Labor and Labor Standards

Tim Bartley 
Professor, Department of Sociology, Washington University in St. Louis

Visiting fellow, Politics of Inequality cluster, University of Konstanz

Guest Professor of Political Science, University of St. Gallen



Teaching Materials

Governing through Markets: Sustainability and Fairness in Global Industries (graduate level, University of St. Gallen)

Issues in Contemporary Theory: Power and Social Order (graduate level) 

Economic Sociology (graduate level)

Social Movements (graduate level)

Global Structures and Problems

Statistics for Sociology

Environmental Justice




    Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for environmental studies, International Studies Association

    Global and Transnational Sociology section book award, honorable mention, American Sociological Association


Google Books, Amazon, Oxford Scholarship Online (full text at subscribing institutions)


"Bartley brings together factory workers and forests in China and Indonesia in an elegant comparative design that combines careful empirical grounding with analytical breadth and sophistication. Rules without Rights is a signal accomplishment and a significant step forward for the literature on the interaction of transnational governance and state regulation." -- Peter Evans, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

"Rules without Rights, given its theoretical and empirical richness, should be read widely by scholars and students of comparative politics, labor studies, and management, if they wish to take on the challenge of refining theories concerning transnational governance, multi-stakeholder initiatives, and standards." -- Mari Sako, ILR Review

"Rules without Rights establishes an ambitious new research agenda for students of modern, transnational, capitalism." - Frank Dobbin, Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

"This book provides a major contribution to analysis of the failure of private rules on sustainability and labour standards in global production networks. It provides a critical way forward through 're-centering' the state in the public and private governance of land and labour rights in a global economy." - Stephanie Barrientos, Professor of Global Development, University of Manchester

"Tim Bartley writes with the authority that comes from being a patient researcher of the 'concrete implications' of the private transnational rules that have come to characterize the current international business environment... This book is a welcome and much needed contribution to our understanding of how micro and macro contexts interact in different international settings and is, in my judgement, a thoughtful and well-written volume that makes for essential reading." -- Jean Jenkins, Journal of World-Systems Research

"The books originality lies in Bartleys interdisciplinary political-economic and organizational perspective and the four rich case studies that underpin his critique and the alternative he offers to the sweeping and contextually blind gaze of the neoliberal transnational governance model rooted in an imagery of governance gapsand hope of transcendence.  . . . [It] is an engaging and essential read for Business and Human Rights scholars.–Samantha Goethals, Business and Human Rights Journal

"Corporate codes of conduct purport to transcend the wider political economy: insulating islands of better work, notwithstanding civil society crackdowns and countervailing incentives. ... Enough of this pretence, insists Bartley. Buyers must become legally responsible for abuses in their supply chains. Extra-territorial liability would encourage more 'patient sourcing' (longer-term contracts) in low- and middle-income countries with autonomous labour movements, rewarding good practice. Is this possible? Yes! - exclaims Bartley, highlighting an inspirational example from forestry." -- Alice Evans, LSE Review of Books

Video interview at Erasmus University Rotterdam

 Other books and volumes

Looking Behind the Label: Global Industries and the Conscientious Consumer (with Sebastian Koos, Hiram Samel, Gustavo Setrini, and Nik Summers).  Indiana University Press, 2015.  

         Excerpt     More information, including reviews, videos, and resources for teaching

The Politics of Land.  Volume 26 of Research in Political Sociology, ed. by Tim Bartley.  Emerald. (2019)

Selected articles and chapters

"Power at a Distance: Organizational Power Across Boundaries" (with Matthew Soener and Carl Gershenson).  Sociology Compass 13(10):e12737. (2019)

"The Digital Surveillance Society."  Contemporary Sociology 48(6):622-627.

"Fields."  For Critical Concepts for Pragmatic Inquiry in the Social Sciences, ed. by John R. Bowen, Nicolas Dodier, Jan Willem Duyvendak, and Anita Hardon.  In progress.

"Transnational Corporations and Global GovernanceAnnual Review of Sociology 44:145-165. (2018)

"Toward a Political Sociology of Land."  Research in Political Sociology 26:1-12. (2019)

 Raising the Floor: New Directions in Publicand Private Enforcement of Labor Standards in the United States” (with Janice Fine). Journal of Industrial Relations 61(2): 252–276. (2019)

"Shaming the Corporation: The Social Production of Targets and the Anti-Sweatshop Movement" (with Curtis Child).  American Sociological Review 79(4):653-679. (2014)

        Coverage in Stanford Social Innovation ReviewThe Society Pages

"Institutional Emergence in an Era of Globalization:  The Rise of Transnational Private Regulation of Labor and Environmental Conditions."  American Journal of Sociology 113(2):297-351.  (2007)

"Beyond Decoupling:  Unions and the Leveraging of Corporate Social Responsibility in Indonesia(with Niklas Egels-Zanden).  Socio-Economic Review 14(2):231-255. (2016)

"How Foundations Shape Social Movements: The Construction of an Organizational Field and the Rise of Forest Certification."  Social Problems 54(3):229-255. (2007)

"Transnational Governance and the Re-centered State: Sustainability or Legality?Regulation & Governance 8(1):93-109.  (2014)

Movements, Markets, and Fields: The Effects of Anti-Sweatshop Campaigns on U.S. Firms, 1993-2000” (with Curtis Child).  Social Forces 90(2):425-451. (2011)

"Responsibility and Neglect in Global Production Networks: The Uneven Significance of Codes of Conduct in Indonesian Factories" (with Niklas Egels-Zanden).  Global Networks 15:S21-44. (2015)

Transnational Governance as the Layering of Rules: Intersections of Public and Private Standards.”  Theoretical Inquiries in Law 12(2):25-51. (2011)

"Organizations, Regulation, and Economic Behavior: Regulatory Dynamics and Forms from the 19th to 21st Century (with Marc Schneiberg)  Annual Review of Law & Social Science, vol. 4. (2008)

Global Production and the Puzzle of Rules.” In Framing the Globaled. by Hilary Kahn.  Indiana University Press. (2014)


Transnational Private Regulation in Practice: The Limits of Forest and Labor Standards Certification in Indonesia.” Business & Politics vol.112, iss.3:article 7 (2010)

"Communities of Practice as Cause and Consequence of Transnational Governance: The Evolution of Social and Environmental Certification” (with Shawna Smith). In Transnational Communities: Shaping Global Economic Governance, edited by Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack, Cambridge University Press. (2010)

"Regulating or Redesigning Finance? Market Architectures, Normal Accidents, and Dilemmas of Regulatory Reform" (with Marc Schneiberg). Research on the Sociology of Organizations 30A:281-307. (More info) (2010)

China and Global Labor Standards: Making Sense of Factory Certification.” (with Lu Zhang).  In China and Global Governance, ed. by Scott Kennedy.  Routledge. (2017)

"The Mobility of Industries and the Limits of CSR: Labor Codes of Conduct in Indonesian Factories" (with Doug Kincaid).  In Corporate Social Responsibility in a Globalizing World:  Global Dynamics and Local Practices, edited by Kiyoteru Tsutsui and Alwyn Lim.  Cambridge University Press. (2015)

"Standards for Sweatshops: The Power and Limits of Club Theory for Explaining Voluntary Labor Standards Programs". In Voluntary Programs: A Club Theory Approach, edited by Matthew Potoski and Aseem Prakash, MIT Press. (2009)

Corporate Accountability and the Privatization of Labor Standards: Struggles over Codes of Conduct in the Apparel Industry.”  Research in Political Sociology 14:211-244. (2005)




Subpages (1): Data