Joseph A McCartin is a Professor and the Executive Director, Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, Georgetown University. McCartin is an expert on U.S. labor, social, and political history. He has taught at Georgetown University since 1999, where he has offered courses in U.S. Labor History, Recent U.S. Political Economy, U.S. Since 1945, America Between the Wars, Modern U.S. State and Society, and 20th-21st Century U.S. Social History. A recent area of expertise is the effects of COVID-19 on the U.S. Labor Market and U.S. Economy, Global Cities, Labor Policy
McCartin's scholarship focuses on the intersection of labor organization, politics, and public policy. He is the author of more than 130 articles, chapters, and reviews in the fields of labor history and labor studies. His first book, Labor’s Great War: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy and the Origins of Modern American Labor Relations, won the 1999 Philip Taft Labor History Book Award. His book, Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America, examined the origins and implications of the 1981 PATCO strike of air traffic controllers and won the Richard A. Lester Award for the Outstanding Book on Industrial Relations and Labor Economics. Most recently, he is co-author with Melvyn Dubofsky of Labor in America. His current research explores the twin crises of declining labor organization and diminishing democracy, tracing both the decline collective bargaining in the United States and current efforts to reimagine and revive it.
McCartin is the founding Executive Director of Georgetown's Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor (KI), which he has led since 2009. The KI is a leading labor research, education, training, and innovation center that draws on Georgetown’s distinctive identity—including its Catholic and Jesuit traditions and prominence as an arena of policy debate in the nation’s capital—to develop creative strategies that will improve workers' lives and strengthen their voices at work. These include initiatives such as Bargaining for the Common Good, which the KI played the lead role in launching. The KI's work has been funded by the Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and the Ford Foundation, among others. McCartin is a member of the board of the Catholic Labor Network, the steering committee of the Interreligous Network for Worker Solidarity, a contributing editor to Labor: Studies in Working-Class History, and member of the International Advisory Board/Conseil Consultatif international, Labour/Le Travail.