Boykoff Headshot Image

Jules Boykoff, PhD

Professor; Politics & Government Department Chair
UC Box 
Marsh Hall 234 (Forest Grove)

Course Information

At Pacific University, all faculty teach a variety of different courses. We do not use graduate teaching assistants, which means that your classes will be taught by professors and that you will have plenty of opportunities to get to know the faculty in your discipline.

Dr. Boykoff regularly teaches the following courses:

HUM 100 | Origins, Identity & Meaning
POLS 140 | Introduction to US Politics 
POLS 221 | Politics in Literature and Film
POLS 224 | Environmental Politics
POLS 226 | Politics of Surveillance
POLS 301 | Politics and the Media
POLS 321 | Protest, Dissent, and Social Change
POLS 322 | The Suppression of Dissent
POLS 352 | Sports and Politics
POLS 355 | Politics & the Olympics 
POLS 399 | Theory and Methodology in Political Science

Areas of Research & Specialization

Professor Boykoff teaches courses and carries out research on U.S. politics, the politics of sports, mass-media politics, social movements, the suppression of dissent, and environmental politics.


PhD in Political Science, American University, Washington, D.C., in 2004

Master of Arts in Teaching with specialization in English and Spanish, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Ore., in 1998

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Portland, Portland, Ore., in 1993


NOlympians: Inside the Fight Against Capitalist Mega-Sports in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Beyond (Fernwood Publishing, 2020).

Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics (Verso, 2016)

Activism and the Olympics: Dissent at the Games in Vancouver and London (Rutgers University Press, 2014)

Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games (Routledge, 2013)

Landscapes of Dissent: Guerrilla Poetry & Public Space, co-authored with Kaia Sand (Palm Press, 2008)

Beyond Bullets: The Suppression of Dissent in the United States (AK Press, 2007)

The Suppression of Dissent: How the State and Mass Media Squelch US American Social Movements (Routledge, 2006)

Selected Scholarly Publications

"A Tale of Two Twitterstorms: The NFL, Donald Trump, and Digital Populism," in Populism and the Sport and Leisure Spectacle: Studies in Sport, Leisure, and Popular Culture, Alan Tomlinson, and Bryan Clift (eds.) (London: Routledge, 2021), 202-219.

"Tokyo 2020 and the End of Olympic History," (with Christopher Gaffney), Capitalism Nature Socialism, Vol. 31, No. 2 (2020): 1-19.

"Athletes as Community; Athletes in Community: Covid-19, Sporting Mega-events and Athlete Health Protection," (with Robert Mann, Bryan Clift, and Sheree Baker) British Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol. 54, No. 18 (2020): 1071-1072.

"The Political History of the Olympics and the Human Rights Thicket," Connecticut Journal of International Law, Vol. 35, No. 1 (2020): 1-16.

"Sporting Dissent: Colin Kaepernick, NFL Activism, and Media Framing Contests," (with Ben Carrington), International Review for the Sociology of Sport, (2019): 1-21.

"Hosting Sports Mega-Events in Developed Countries: Debating the Ideals of Sport," in The Morality of Global Sport: From Peace to Human Rights, Barbara J. Keys (ed.) (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), 156-177.

"Riding the Lines: Academia, Public Intellectual Work, and Scholar-Activism," Sociology of Sport Journal, Vol. 35, No. 2 (2018): 81-88.

"'The Point, However, Is to Change It': Critical Social Sciences and the Olympic Games," in Transforming Sport: Knowledges, Practices, Structures, Thomas F. Carter, Daniel Burdsey, and Mark Doidge (eds.) (London: Routledge, 2018), 65-78.

"Protest, Activism, and the Olympic Games: An Overview of Key Issues and Iconic Moments," International Journal of the History of Sport, Vol. 34, Issue 3-4, (Sept. 2017): 162-183.

"The Olympics in the Twenty-First Century: Where Does Rio Fit In?" in Rio 2016: Olympic Myths, Hard Realities, Andrew Zimbalist (ed.) (Washington, D.C.: Bookings Institution Press, 2017), 13-34.

"The Olympics, Sustainability, and Greenwashing: The Rio 2016 Summer Games," (with Gilmar Mascarenhas), Capitalism Nature Socialism, Vol. 27, No. 2 (2016): 1-11

“London’s Shadow Legacies: Security and Activism at the 2012 Olympics,” (with Pete Fussey) Contemporary Social Science, Vol. 9, No. 2 (2014): 253-270

“Celebration Capitalism and the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics,” Olympika: The International Journal of Olympic Studies Vol. 22 (2013): 39-70

“Poets as Experimental Geographers: Mark Nowak, Kaia Sand and the Re-composition of Political-Historical Space,” in Placing Poetry, eds. Zöe Skoulding and Ian Davidson (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2013), 223-256

"U.S. Media Coverage of the Cancún Climate Change Conference," PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 45, No. 2 (April 2012): 251-258

"The Tea Party Movement, Framing, and the U.S. Media," (with Eulalie Laschever) Social Movement Studies, Vol. 10, No. 4 (November 2011): 341-366

"The Leaf Blower, Capitalism, and the Atomization of Everyday Life," Capitalism Nature Socialism, Vol. 22, No. 3 (September 2011): 95-113

"Space Matters: The 2010 Winter Olympics and Its Discontents," Human Geography, Vol. 4, No. 2 (2011): 48-60

"Fun at the Games: The Anti-Olympics," New Left Review 67 (Jan-Feb 2011): 41-59

"'We're Going to Defend Ourselves': The Portland Chapter of the Black Panther Party and the Local Media Response," (with Martha Gies) Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 111, No. 3 (Fall 2010): 278-311

"Limiting Dissent: The Mechanisms of State Repression in the United States," Social Movement Studies, Vol. 6, No. 3 (December 2007): 281-310

"Climate Change and Journalistic Norms: A Case Study of U.S. Mass-Media Coverage," (with Maxwell Boykoff) Geoforum, Vol. 38, No. 6 (November 2007): 1190-1204

"Framing Dissent: Mass Media Coverage of the Global Justice Movement," New Political Science, Vol. 28, No. 2 (June 2006): 201-228

"Balance as Bias: Global Warming and the U.S. Prestige Press," (with Maxwell Boykoff) Global Environmental Change Vol. 15: No. 2 (July 2004): 125-136

Selected Presentations & Conference Papers

"The Political History of the Olympics and the Human Rights Thicket," Keynote lecture at the University of Connecticut Law School Symposium "Behind the Games: The Effect of the Olympics on Host Cities," April 2019.

"Anti-Olympics Activism: Protest, Politics, and the Path Ahead," Play the Game Conference, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, November 2017.

"Riding the Lines: Academia, Public Intellectual Work, and Scholar-Activism," Keynote lecture, North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, Windsor, Canada, November 2017.

"The Politics of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games," University of Texas, 10 March 2016.

"Os Jogos Olímpicos: Uma Perspectiva Internacional," Rio de Janeiro, 8 December 2015.

"Politics, Sports, and Mega-Events," (with Dave Zirin) University of Texas, 13 March 2015.

"US and UK Media Coverage of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics," (with Matthew Yasuoka) North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, Portland, November 2014. 

“Politics and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics” (with Jane Buchanan and David Harvey), City University of New York, New York, 21 February 2014.

Selected Popular Publications

"Tokyo Is Learning that the Only Force Stronger than a Pandemic Is the Olympics," Washington Post, 27 May 2021.

"A Sports Event Shouldn't Be a Superspreader. Cancel the Olympics," New York Times (11 May 2021).

"The Olympic Battle for Echo Park," (with Dave Zirin), The Nation (26 March 2021).

"Amid Covid Fears, Tokyo Olympic Games' Torch Relay Kicks Off. It Should Be Extinguished," NBC News Think (25 March 2021).

"Tokyo Olympics Head Yoshiro Mori Called Out by Naomi Osaka and Others for Sexism. He Must Go," NBC News Think (10 February 2021).

"IOC Rules on Athlete Activism at the Olympics Violate UN Human Rights," The Irish Times, (17 November 2020).

"Cancel. The Olympics." New York Times, (18 March 2020).

"The Olympics Are Political. The IOC Ban Denies Realityand Athletes Their Voice," NBC News Think (16 January 2020).

"Airbnb's Partnership with the Olympics Won't Help Cities - But Gentrifiers Will Love It," NBC News Think (25 November 2019).

"A Soccer Game Becomes an Antifascist Demonstration in Portland," (with Dave Zirin) The Nation (26 August 2019).

"Tokyo's 2020 Olympics Are Showing the Nightmare Waiting for L.A. in 2028," (with Dave Zirin) Los Angeles Times (24 July 2019).

"These Women Have Lost Their Homes to the Olympics in TokyoTwice," (with Dave Zirin) The Nation (23 July 2019).

"Is Colin Kaepernick's Nike Deal Activism - Or Just Capitalism?" (with Ben Carrington) The Guardian (6 September 2018).

"Russia's 2018 World Cup Run Is Over, but Putinand Dictators EverywhereAre Still Big Winners at Mega-Sports Events," NBC News Think (10 July 2018).

"The High Cost of the Olympic Games," Asahi Shimbun (2 February 2018).

"Winter Olympics 2018: The Latest Battleground between Athletes and Trump?" (with Ben Carrington) The Guardian, 10 January 2018.

"The Russia Doping Ban Is a Big Black Mark for the OlympicsNo Matter What Russia Does Next," Quartz, 6 December 2017.

"LA Is about to Discover that Democracy and the Olympics Don't Mix," The Guardian, 13 September 2017.

"The Currency of the Olympics Is Often Just Currency," Los Angeles Times, 12 September 2017.

"Olympic Process Should Be on L.A.'s Timeline, Not the IOC's, to Determine If the Deal Is Good," Los Angeles Times, 10 August 2017.

"A Bid for a Better Olympics," New York Times (14 August 2014).

“After the World Cup Final, This Is How to Stop FIFA from Being Such a Parasite,” (with Alan Tomlinson) The Guardian (13 July 2014).

Selected Media Appearances

Tokyo Broadcasting System (29 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.

Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh (28 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.

BBC television (28 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.

CNN Newsroom with Rosemary Church (20 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.

Today, Explained (Vox) with Sean Rameswaram (19 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.

CBC (Canada) with Ginella Massa (19 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.

The Takeaway (WNYC, New York & NPR) with Matt Katz (18 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.

National Public Radio with Anthony Kuhn (14 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.

CTV (Canada) with Todd Vanderheyden (14 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.

CNN New Day with John Berman and Brianna Keilar (14 May 2021). On Tokyo Olympics.

Business Daily on the BBC (3 July 2014). On the World Cup, FIFA, and corporate sponsors.

Think Out Loud on Oregon Public Broadcasting (19 June 2014). On World Cup politics.

New Zealand National Radio (12 June 2014). On politics and protest at the 2014 World Cup.

Al Jazeera America (7 June 2014). On security at the 2014 World Cup.

Straight Talk on KGW (22 February 2014). On the policies and politics of the Olympic Games.

Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman (31 July 2012 and 26 July 2012). On London 2012 Olympics politics.

Extracurricular Activities

Professor Boykoff is an avid supporter of poetry. He is the author of three poetry collections: Fireworks (Tinfish Press, 2018), Hegemonic Love Potion (Factory School, 2009) and Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge (2006, Edge Books, Washington, DC). His favorite poetry books are Remember to Wave by Kaia Sand, Sarajevo Blues by Semezdin Mehmedinovic, and Mi Revalueshanary Fren: Selected Poems by Linton Kwesi Johnson.

He's also a sports aficionado. He played college soccer at the University of Portland under legendary coach Clive Charles. He also represented the U.S. Olympic Team (U-23 National Team) in international competition and played professional soccer for the Portland Pride, Minnesota Thunder, and Milwaukee Wave. More information at



Pacific University Politics and Government Department Chair and Professor Jules Boykoff is a go-to voice of skepticism about the Games, and a particular critic of the choice to award them to Beijing. He offers an overview about these Olympics.

Jules Boykoff

Throughout the controversy over the Tokyo Games, Boykoff has been everywhere. Just this year, he has been cited or interviewed by the BBC, Reuters, the Sydney Morning Herald, the New York Times, NBC, Bloomberg, Time Magazine, the Voice of America, the Washington Post, CNBC, the Irish Times — in short, by every outlet looking for informed criticism of the Olympics.

Nicole George

Nicole George '16 is working to perpetuate and enhance the cultures of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people of southeast Alaska.

Paul Snell

Paul Snell and Jules Boykoff, colleagues in Pacific's Politics and Government Department, have emerged as important voices as protests for racial and social justice rivet the country.

Jules Boykoff, professor of politics and government, wrote an article about the Portland homelessness crisis on