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Fred Block

Fred Block

Research Professor

2266 SS&H

Office Hours for Winter 2014 :

  • Wednesday 11:15-12:15
  • Wednesday 4:00-5:00


  1. Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley


Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

  • Economic and Political Sociology
  • Sociological Theory
  • Sociology of Welfare

Current Research Projects

The Hidden Developmental State in the United States
Funded by the Ford Foundation

For the last seven years, I have been researching the activities of the U.S. government in support of the commercialization of new technologies. In a series of papers, I have documented that these efforts are far more widespread and more successful than most analysts have recognized. The programs are “hidden” because they are rarely discussed by journalists or academics, they run counter to the prevailing “free market” ideas, and they operate in a decentralized fashion that makes it difficult to track their impact. With a group of collaborators, I have published an edited book on these programs.  It is called State of Innovation: The U.S. Government's Role in Technology Development, edited with Matthew R. Keller, and published by Paradigm Publishers.

The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi's Critique, with Margaret Somers.

Written In collaboration with Margaret Somers,  this volume will be published by Harvard University Press in Spring 2014.  It examines the social and economic theory of Karl Polanyi who is increasingly recognized as one of the major social scientists of the 20th century. Polanyi is particularly important for understanding the economic crisis that began in 2007 because of the originality and power of his analysis and critique of the ideology of the free market that has dominated U.S. politics for the last thirty years.



  • Block, Fred. 2014.  "Democratizing Finance."  Politics & Society, March.
  • Block, Fred.  2013.  "Explaining the Transformation in the U.S. Innovation System: The Impact of a Small Government Program."  (with Matthew R. Keller), Socio-Economic Review.
  • Block, Fred.  2012.  "Varieties of What?  Should We Still be Using the Concept of Capitalism."  Political Power and Social Theory, vol. 23.
  • Block, Fred. 2011.  "Reinventing Social Democracy for the 21st Century,"  Journal of Australian Political Economy.
  • Block, Fred.  2010.  "Crisis and Renewal: The Outlines of a 21st Century New Deal,"  Socio-Economic Review.
  • Block, Fred. 2008. "Swimming Against the Current: The Rise of a Hidden Developmental State in the United States," Politics & Society.

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