- Agriculture, Health, and the Environment
- Modern Global History/Science, Technology, and Nationalism
- U.S. Society and Politics/Policy Perspectives
Bill Winders is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the School of History and Sociology. He received his PhD in sociology from Emory University in 2001 and specializes in the areas of political sociology, social movements, the world economy, inequality, and food and agriculture.
Dr. Winders has written two books. His first book, The Politics of Food Supply: US Agricultural Policy in the World Economy (Yale University Press, 2009), shows how political coalitions and divisions between farmers in the South, Corn Belt, and Wheat Belt shaped the trajectory of US agriculture from the 1920s to the the early 21st century. This book also highlights the influence of the world economy and the civil rights movement on agricultural policy. The Politics of Food Supply won the 2011 Book Award from the Political Economy of the World-System (PEWS) section of the American Sociological Association, an award given each year in recognition of a book that exemplifies outstanding scholarship in global or comparative-international sociology.
His second book, Grains (Polity Press, 2017), examines the geopolitics of grains, focusing on maize, rice, and wheat. In Grains, Winders examines how the political and economic divisions between food grains and feed grains influence a variety of issues, including international trade, world hunger, biotechnology, and land rights.
In addition to these books, he has published several articles in journals such as Social Forces, Politics & Society, Social Problems, and Rural Sociology among others. These articles examine various topics such as the politics of national policies, voter turnout, social movement dynamics, and the global context of food and agriculture.
His article "The Vanishing Free Market: The Formation and Spread of the British and US Food Regimes" (Journal of Agrarian Change, 2009, 9(3):315-344) received the Bernstein & Byres Prize for Best Article in JAC in 2009.
In 2016, Winders and several graduate students published an article that examines how shifts in global governance after 1975 contribute to greater market instability for various agricultural commodities, including coffee, wheat, and soybeans, among others. See "Life After the Regime: Market Instability with the Fall of the U.S. Food Regime," Agriculture and Human Values 33(1):73-88.
Professor Winders is currently working on two primary research projects. The first project examines the global meat industry, focusing on the production, consumption, and trade of meat in the world economy. The second project examines food crises in the world economy, such as the 2007-2008 food crisis that saw food prices and world hunger rise dramatically.
He also periodically posts essays on his blog, The Politics of Food Supply.