Michael C. Dreiling, Ph.D. - Consumed Direct Democracy Project Manager

Michael Dreiling is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon. His professional and political activities involving social movements and corporate power place him on the cutting-edge of socially informed and politically relevant scholarship. Professor Dreiling's most recently published work on corporate networks and international trade is highly acclaimed for revealing the corporate penetration of the U.S. trade policy process. Other research includes publications on the mobilization of labor and environmentalists against NAFTA, the corporate political defense of the NAFTA as well as a book on the politics of international trade. At the University of Oregon, he is an award-winning teacher with courses on U.S. labor movements, social movements, environmentalism, and American society.

Dr. Dreiling conducted an extensive investigation of the conflict over NAFTA for his doctoral dissertation. The research involved a careful study of the process of alliance formation between labor unions and environmental groups as they mobilized through two national coalitions to fight the NAFTA. Coalition-building among the liberal-labor alliance, Dreiling asserts, was made possible by a structuring of inter movement relationships via mediating groups such as Public Citizen and the Institute for Policy Studies. In contrast to the alliance-building process of progressive movement organizations, an in-depth quantitative analysis of over 200 corporations and their political mobilization to defend NAFTA is scrutinized. In this power structure research, an "inner circle" is detected that was responsible for not only pressing the NAFTA agenda in the first place, but also for mobilizing the wider business sector to protect the agreement from the large-scale citizen offensive. Much of Professor Dreiling's doctoral work has been published in scholarly journals in the field of sociology.

During the course of 12 years, Professor Dreiling has been active in labor, environmental, and trade politics. His political involvement spans several movements in several regions of the country. Some recent examples include: a public lecture and consultation for Congressman John Conyer's 1993 Town Hall meeting on NAFTA, a key strategist and organizer for a Jobs with Justice alliance to support of the Detroit newspaper workers' strike actions (1994-96), an organizer for the Nader '96 campaign in Lane County, Oregon, a public lecture with Congressman Peter DeFazio on the World Trade Organization (1999), and numerous appearances at teach-ins and in the mass media on political topics, including a Nightly News feature on the WTO protest.

Professor Dreiling's professional work in communications began through his collaboration with award winning filmmaker Harold Boihem. In 1989 he served as a consultant for STRUCTURALISM AND THE SOCIAL WORLD, the highly acclaimed experimental multimedia installation at the University of California. Filmmaker Boihem and Professor Dreiling also co-produced the political documentary ON THE OREGON CAMPAIGN TRAIL: NADER '96. Dreiling also independently produced an activist documentary on the 1994-1996 Detroit newspaper strike STOPPIN' THE PRESS: DETROIT NEWSPAPER WORKERS' FIGHT TO HOLD THE LINE.

Professor Dreiling received his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan in 1997, his Masters in 1993 from the University of Michigan, and his bachelors degree from the University of California in 1990.

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