Mudge, Stephanie Lee

Associate Professor of Sociology

University of California Davis, United States


United States

Max Weber alumnus

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Cohort(s): 2007/2008

Ph.D. Institution

University of California, United States


My research interests include historical and comparative approaches to the study of politics and public policy, with a focus on social politics in Western democracies in the ‘neoliberal era’ (from the 1970s to the present).  My dissertation, titled Precarious Progressivism: The Struggle over the Social in the Neoliberal Era, looks in particular at the politics of the left in Europe in the 1990s.  It investigates neoliberalism’s historical origins and its entry into mainstream politics over the course of the postwar period in cross-national perspective. Attending also to international politics in the context of European integration, my dissertation includes an analysis of the political and intellectual struggle over ‘social Europe’ from the mid-1990s to 2005.  The US is a primary point of reference throughout, not only because American influences sit at neoliberalism’s global epicenter, but also because Europe and the US share political, economic and intellectual connections. One of my projects as a Max Weber Fellow is to develop my dissertation for publication as a book.

I recently completed my Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California-Berkeley, under the direction of Neil Fligstein, and hold a B.A. degree in Urban Studies and Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania (in Philadelphia). While at Berkeley I participated in two major research projects (other than my own): with Professor Jerome Karabel, I worked with archival materials to assemble reports on coeducation and minority admissions at Yale University since the 1920s as part of a broader study of Harvard, Princeton and Yale (recently published by Professor Karabel: The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, Houghton Mifflin, 2005); I also assisted in the analysis of wealth, income and consumption patterns in the US in the 20th century using a variety of nationally representative datasets in contribution to the “Century of Difference” project (recently published by Professors Michael Hout and Claude Fischer: Century of Difference: How America Changed in the Last One Hundred Years, Russell Sage Foundation, 2006).

Before coming to Berkeley I worked as a Research Assistant in education policy at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., specializing in teacher education and program evaluation. My teaching experience includes two undergraduate courses of my own, one in the sociology of education and the other in political economy and comparative social policy.  I have experience teaching introductory sociology, sociological theory and introductory statistical methods, and am building syllabi for these areas and for courses in political and economic sociology. My current and future research projects include a study of free market think tanks and an analysis of higher education’s intersection with social welfare and labor market reform (the focus of an EUI working paper to be completed in March 2008). My next book project will be on the intersection of social scientific expertise with national and EU-level politics.
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