Appelbaum is a professor of sociology and global and international studies and director of graduate studies at UCSB. He and Lichtenstein each will receive the returns on two $1 million endowments over five years to support teaching, research, and public service activities.
The MacArthur Foundation Chairs currently at UCSB are among seven chairs funded by a UC system-wide endowment from the MacArthur Foundation. The endowment was established in 2009 for the purpose of supporting research, public service, and teaching that promotes the objectives of the MacArthur Foundation, which include working to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. At the end of five years, the two endowed chairs currently at UCSB will be redistributed to other UC campuses.
The scholarly activities Appelbaum and Lichtenstein will pursue include an evaluation of the International Labor Organization and its work; a historical and comparative look at guest worker programs; and an examination of evolving labor conditions, laws, and enforcement in emerging economies.
According to Appelbaum, "Globalization has made it increasingly difficult for workers to achieve the basic human rights to which they are entitled. Retailers such as Wal-Mart and the brands that they carry now source from supply chains that extend around the world, moving production from factory to factory in search of the lowest possible costs. One of our central challenges is to better understand how workers' rights can be best achieved when businesses can move about the world with relative ease."