Wade M. Cole portrait
  • Chair, Sociology Department
  • Professor, Sociology Department
(801) 581-4601


  • Wade M. Cole (2023). Political Ideology and Childhood Vaccination in Cross-National Perspective, 1995 to 2018. International Journal of Sociology. Accepted, 06/2023.
  • Wade M. Cole, Evan Schofer & Kristopher Velasco (2023). Individual Empowerment, Institutional Confidence, and Vaccination Rates in Cross-National Perspective, 1995 to 2018. American Sociological Review. Vol. 88(3), 379-417. Published, 06/2023.
  • Wade M. Cole (2023). The Islamic Human Rights Deficit: Region, Not Religion, Is the Driver. Nordic Journal of Human Rights. Accepted, 05/2023.
  • Wade M. Cole & Claudia Geist (2023). Don’t You Be My Neighbor! Perceptions of Homosexuality in Global Cross-Cultural Perspective, 1990 to 2019. Socius. Accepted, 04/2023.
  • Wade M. Cole & Evan Schofer (2023). Destroying Democracy for the People: The Social, Economic, and Political Consequences of Populist Rule, 1990 to 2017. Social Problems. Published, 01/2023.
  • Wade M. Cole (2022). Aiding Human Rights? The Effect of U.S., European, and Chinese Development Assistance on Rights Practices in Recipient Countries, 2000 to 2017. International Journal of Sociology. Vol. 52(4), 253-283. Published, 09/2022.
  • Wade M. Cole (2022). The Dialectics of Universalism and Particularism: World Society, Religious Traditions, and Women’s Political Representation, 1960 to 2013. International Sociology. Vol. 37(1), 3-30. Published, 01/2022.
  • Wade M. Cole & Claudia Geist (2021). Conceiving of Contraception: World Society, Cultural Resistance, and Contraceptive Use, 1970 to 2012. Social Forces. Vol. 99(4), 1394-1431. Published, 06/2021.
  • Wade M. Cole & Gaëlle Perrier (2020). Is Religion Really the Enemy of Human Rights? A Reply to Cingranelli and Kalmick. Human Rights Quarterly. Vol. 42(4), 902-932. Published, 11/2020.
  • Wade M. Cole (2020). Working to Protect Rights: Women’s Civil Liberties in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Social Science Research. Vol. 91, 102461. Published, 09/2020.
  • Claudia Geist & Wade M. Cole (2020). Beyond Geography: Cultural Zones and Global Patterns of Modern-Method Contraceptive Use. Health Care for Women International. Vol. 41(4), 382-396. Published, 04/2020.
  • Wade M. Cole & Megan M. Reynolds (2019). We Comply with a Little Help from Our Friends: Human Rights, Development Aid, and Wellbeing, 1970 to 2012. Social Forces. Vol. 97(4), 1631-1664. Published, 06/2019.
  • Wade M. Cole & Gaëlle Perrier (2019). Political Equality for Women and the Poor: Assessing the Effects and Limits of World Society, 1975 to 2010. International Sociology. Vol. 60(3), 140-172. Published, 02/2019.
  • Wade M. Cole (2019). Wealth and Health Revisited: Economic Growth and Wellbeing in Developing Countries, 1970 to 2015. Social Science Research. Vol. 77, 45-67. Published, 01/2019.
  • Wade M. Cole & Claudia Geist (2018). Progress without Progressives? The Effects of Development on Women’s Educational and Political Equality in Cultural Context, 1980 to 2010. Sociology of Development. Vol. 4(1), 1-69. Published, 05/2018.
  • Wade M. Cole (2018). Does Might Make Right or Fight? Coercive Capacity, Democracy, and Human Rights, 1975 to 2010. Journal of Human Rights. Vol. 17(2), 147-162. Published, 04/2018.
  • Wade M. Cole (2018). Poor and Powerless: Economic and Political Inequality in Cross-National Perspective, 1981 to 2011. International Sociology. Vol. 33(3), 357-385. Published, 03/2018.
  • Wade M. Cole (2017). Too Much of a Good Thing? Economic Growth and Human Rights, 1970 to 2010. Social Science Research. Vol. 67, 72-90. Published, 09/2017.
  • Patricia Bromley & Wade Cole (2017). A Tale of Two Worlds: The Interstate System and World Society in Social Science Textbooks, 1950–2011. Globalisation, Societies and Education. Vol. 15(4), 425-447. Published, 07/2017.
  • Wade M. Cole (2017). World Polity or World Society? Delineating the Statist and Societal Dimensions of the Global Institutional System. International Sociology. Vol. 32(1), 86-104. Published, 01/2017.
  • Wade M. Cole (2016). The Effects of Human Rights on Economic Growth, 1965 to 2010. Sociology of Development. Vol. 2(4), 375-412. Published, 12/2016.
  • Wade M. Cole (2016). Human Rights and the Individual: Cross-Cultural Variation in Human Rights Scores, 1980 to 2010. Social Forces. Vol. 95(2), 721-752. Published, 12/2016.
  • Wade M. Cole (2016). Managing to Mitigate Abuse: Bureaucracy, Democracy, and Human Rights, 1984 to 2010. International Journal of Comparative Sociology. Vol. 57(1-2), 67-97. Published, 02/2016.
  • Wade M. Cole (2015). Institutionalizing a Global Anti-Corruption Regime: Perverse Effects on Country Outcomes, 1984 to 2012. International Journal of Comparative Sociology. Vol. 56(1), 53-80. Published, 05/2015.
  • Wade M. Cole (2015). Mind the Gap: State Capacity and the Implementation of Human Rights Treaties. International Organization. Vol. 69(2), 405-441. Published, 03/2015.
  • Wade M. Cole (2015). International Human Rights and Domestic Income Inequality: A Difficult Case of Compliance in World Society. American Sociological Review. Vol. 80(2), 359-390. Published, 03/2015.
  • Wade M. Cole (2013). Does Respect for Human Rights Vary Across ‘Civilizations’? A Statistical Reexamination. International Journal of Comparative Sociology. Vol. 54(4), 345-381. Published, 11/2013.
  • Wade M. Cole (2013). Strong Walk and Cheap Talk: The Effect of the International Covenant of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights on Policies and Practices. Social Forces. Vol. 92(1), 165-194. Published, 09/2013.
  • Wade M. Cole & Francisco O. Ramirez (2013). Conditional Decoupling: Assessing the Impact of National Human Rights Institutions, 1981 to 2004. American Sociological Review. Vol. 78(4), 702-725. Published, 08/2013.
  • Wade M. Cole (2013). Government Respect for Gendered Rights: The Effect of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on Women’s Rights Outcomes, 1981–2004. International Studies Quarterly. Vol. 57(2), 233–249. Published, 06/2013.
  • Wade M. Cole (2012). A Civil Religion for World Society: The Direct and Diffuse Effects of Human Rights Treaties, 1981–2007. Sociological Forum. Vol. 27(4), 937-960. Published, 11/09/2012.
  • Wade M. Cole (2012). Institutionalizing Shame: The Effect of Human Rights Committee Rulings on Abuse, 1981–2007. Social Science Research. Vol. 41(3), 539-554. Published, 05/2012.
  • Wade M. Cole (2012). Ethnocentric Curricula and the Politics of Minority Incorporation at Tribal and Historically Black Colleges. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education. Vol. 6(2), 63-84. Published, 04/06/2012.
  • Wade M. Cole (2012). Human Rights as Myth and Ceremony? Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Human Rights Treaties, 1981 to 2007. American Journal of Sociology. Vol. 117(4), 1131-1171. Published, 01/2012.
  • Wade M. Cole (2011). Individuals v. States: The Correlates of Human Rights Committee Rulings, 1979–2007. Social Science Research. Vol. 40(3), 985-1000. Published, 05/2011.
  • Wade M. Cole (2011). Minority Politics and Group-Differentiated Curricula at Minority-Serving Colleges and Universities. Review of Higher Education. Vol. 34(3), 381-422. Published, 04/2011.
  • Wade M. Cole (2011). Uncommon Schools: The Global Rise of Postsecondary Institutions for Indigenous Peoples. Stanford University Press. Published, 04/2011.
  • Wade M. Cole (2010). Mandated Multiculturalism: An Analysis of Core Curricula at Tribal and Historically Black Colleges. Poetics. Vol. 38(5), 481-503. Published, 10/2010.
  • Wade M. Cole (2010). No News is Good News: Human Rights Coverage in the American Print Media, 1980–2000. Journal of Human Rights. Vol. 9(3), 303-325. Published, 08/2010.
  • Wade M. Cole (2009). Hard and Soft Commitments to Human Rights Treaties, 1966–2000. Sociological Forum. Vol. 24(3), 563-588. Published, 09/2009.
  • Wade M. Cole (2006). Accrediting Culture: An Analysis of Tribal and Black College Curricula. Sociology of Education. Vol. 79(4), 355-388. Published, 10/2006.
  • Wade M. Cole (2006). When All Else Fails: International Adjudication of Human Rights Abuse Claims, 1976–1999. Social Forces. Vol. 84(4), 1909-1935. Published, 06/2006.
  • Wade M. Cole (2005). Sovereignty Relinquished? Explaining Commitment to the International Human Rights Covenants, 1966–1999. American Sociological Review. Vol. 70(3), 472-495. Published, 06/2005.

Research Statement

Wade Cole (Ph.D., Stanford University, 2006) is Professor of Sociology at the University of Utah. A macrosociologist, he conducts cross-national research in the areas of political sociology and global/transnational sociology, with a substantive emphasis on human rights -- broadly defined -- and a theoretical focus on world society institutionalism. His empirical research has analyzed a range of outcomes such as civil and political rights, women's rights, women's labor force participation and parliamentary representation, income inequality, corruption, contraceptive uptake, population health, treaty ratification, individual petitions to international tribunals alleging human rights abuse, and curricular content at minority-serving colleges and universities. He previously held positions at Montana State University and the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, where he conducted policy-relevant education research for the Washington State Legislature.

Wade is author of Uncommon Schools: The Global Rise of Postsecondary Institutions for Indigenous Peoples (Stanford University Press, 2011). His work also appears in a variety of journals in sociology, education, and political science, including the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social ProblemsSocial Science Research, Sociology of Education, International Organization, and International Studies Quarterly, and has been supported financially by the American Educational Research Association, the Spencer Foundation, and the National Academy of Education.

His current research seeks to understand the causes and consequences of the "illiberal turn" in world society. Among other things, this research considers the recent worldwide downturn in respect for liberal human rights, the rise of populism and its corrosive effects on liberal democracy, and the consequences of eroded trust in science and other liberal institutions.