Paul Joseph (1969)

Professor of Sociology, Tufts University

I am now a political sociologist at Tufts University with a speciality on the influence of US domestic politics on military policies. I examine the impact of social movements, public opinion, and various business and bureaucratic interests particularly with regard to the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons policy. I am now writing a book on public opinion and military interventions during the period bookended by the two wars in Iraq. I wrote my Ph.D. thesis with Franz Schurmann on the Pentagon Papers and my interest in the organization of social violence remain with me to this day. Recently my teaching and administrative activities have been extended into the interdisciplinary field of peace studies. I have been fortunate to parlay these interests into some wonderful travel opportunities in Europe and especially Asia, including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Japan, and a year-long sabbatical in New Zealand.

I have fond memories of UC Berkeley in the early 1970s, particularly of my fellow graduate students who provided enormous intellectual stimulation and personal friendships. There were many interesting classes and also beer, other substances, poker, potlucks, a men's group, and softball games behind Barrows Hall on Friday afternoons. I was also lucky to have three or four faculty members who taught me alot and became friends. The Bay Area was a very stimulating place to live in those days and one of the strengths of the Sociology Department was to encourage different links between the campus and the surrounding political/cultural events. Over the years it has been a pleasure to recommend Berkely to my better students - even more when they ended up enrolling. Another fond memory: I met my wife while I was a graduate student. We now have three children with two in college.

Dissertation Title: 
A Study of Vietnam Decision-Making