Pat Gillham

Associate Professor


Patrick Gillham is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology. He earned a B.A. in Sociology at Eastern College and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Prior to coming to Western in 2015, Dr. Gillham worked at the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Idaho. Professor Gillham has been researching and teaching about social movements, protest, and the policing of protest in democratic societies since the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999. His work in this area has been widely cited in the media and published in Social Problems, Police and Society, Mobilization, Sociological Perspectives, Social Justice and other scholarly outlets. He is engaged in three research projects. The first, “Policing of Protest and Civil Disorder” explores state responses to political dissent and civil disorder in western democracies. The second, “The Struggle of and the Struggle to Protest” analyzes social movement organizations and activists’ efforts to mobilize protests and influence targets of protest (struggle of protest) and to circumvent police social control efforts (struggle to protest). The third, "Weapons on College Campuses" analyzes the impact of and response to newly implemented laws in states that allow concealed weapons to be carried on public universities. Dr. Gillham enjoys incorporating his research into the classroom and providing students the opportunity to work with him on research projects. He teaches courses in social theory, inequalities in justice, policing, violence and society, social movements, globalization, and social change. He integrates an international perspective into many courses in order to address the complexity and inequality evident in our interconnected and globally stratified world.

Research Interests

  • Social movements, democracy, policing, law, civil disorder, inequalities, social control and violence