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Stephanie L. Mudge

Stephanie L. Mudge

Assistant Professor

2257 SS&H (Entrance off of A St., 2nd floor)

Office Hours for Spring 2017 :

  • Spring 2017: W 2:00-4:00 (pls note: it is best to check ahead with me if you are going to come by office hours, so that I can let you know if there is a good time slot to come.)


  1. Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
  2. BA, Sociology & Urban Studies, University of Pennsylvania (with honors of various sorts)


Research Interests

  • General interests: theoretically-informed historical approaches to the study of politics, culture, and economic institutions in Western countries
  • Sociological subfields: theory, comparative and historical sociology, economic sociology, political sociology, political economy, sociology of knowledge
  • Topical: political parties, Western leftism, European integration, central banks, expertise & expert professions, neoliberalism

    Current Research

    My forthcoming book, Leftism Reinvented, offers a sociological account of how and why Western leftism, as expressed via political parties, was twice reinvented over the course of the twentieth century. Because of its historical oddities, I take a special interest in the rise of market-friendly leftism in the 1990s ("third way" leftism). Developing a refraction approach to the study of parties, the book provides a historical and biographical analytical tour through the Swedish SAP, the German SPD, British Labour, and the American Democrats, focusing especially on the folks who formulate how parties speak (party experts). I show, first, that the formation of a deep interdependence between academic economics professions and center-left parties between the 1930s and 1960s made possible a specifically economistic leftism. I then trace how a reconfiguration of the relationship between parties, economics, and political expertise became the basis for an altogether new, neoliberalized leftism in the 1980s and 1990s. This worked differently across countries/parties, for reasons having to do with how left parties are organized and how economics and political professions (especially political consulting & think tank wonkery) developed.

    Other published or published-to-be works include an article on the resuscitation of the sociology of political parties in the Annual Review of Sociology (2014), with Anthony S. Chen (Northwestern University), a piece on the curious case of political tunnel vision in post-crisis Europe in the European Journal of Sociology (2015 - here), a 2016 book chapter in the Handbook of Neoliberalism that updates and extends a 2008 article on neoliberalism, and a 2016 article on the formation and peculiar authority of the European Central Bank in the Sociological Review (here).

    Ongoing projects include a theoretical paper on how we should think about political parties; a historical study of Western political parties' patterns of organizational formation and disruption using a dataset-in-progress; co-authored pieces on American Democratic liberalism and the Marshall Plan (with David McCourt), the market-friendly turn in the Democratic Party between the 1970s and 2000s (with Johnnie Lotesta), and the rise of the Turkish AKP (with Phyllis Jeffrey); and a fieldwork-based (interviews and participant observation and the like) study of the changing world of leftist expertise in Western Europe and the United States between the late 1990s and the present.

    I occasionally blog (or rant, depending on my mood) for the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI). More information on SPERI can be found here; to follow my occasional SPERI blogs, look here. You can also find me on Twitter @stephaniemudge.


    I teach social theory, political and economic sociology, sociology of knowledge, and an introductory course on social problems. I have also taught topical courses on neoliberalism (graduate), and on debt (undergraduate, honors). More specifically:

    On the undergraduate level, I teach a classical theory course (Soc 100), political sociology, and social problems. I also teach an honors social problems course (Soc 3) on Debt & Inequality.

    On the graduate level I sometimes teach the professional development seminar (293) for first year students. I also teach graduate classical theory (265a-here is a past syllabus) and political and economic sociology (215, affectionately titled "For a Ruthless Sociology of Everything Existing" -- please contact me if you'd like to see the syllabus). I have taught graduate special topics seminars on neoliberalism (the syllabus is here) and on knowledge, power, and politics.

    Some of my syllabi can be found here.

    Publications, commentary, & works-in-progress (selected):

    Mudge, SL. Forthcoming (2018). Leftism Reinvented: Western Parties from Socialism to Neoliberalism.  Harvard University Press.

    Peer-reviewed academic journal articles

    Mudge, SL & Antoine Vauchez. 2016. "Fielding Supranationalism: The European Central Bank as a Field Effect." Sociological Review. [Here]

    Mudge, SL. 2015. "Explaining Political Tunnel Vision: Politics and Economics in Crisis-ridden Europe, Then and Now." European Journal of Sociology. [Here]

    Mudge, SL & Anthony Chen. 2014. "Political Parties and the Sociological Imagination: Past, Present, & Future Directions." Annual Review of Sociology 40: 305-30. (Here - for one time, personal use, please.)

    Mudge, SL & Antoine Vauchez.  2012.  "Building Europe on a Weak Field: Law, Economics and Scholarly Avatars in Transnational Politics."  American Journal of Sociology 118, 2 (September). Here.

    Mudge, SL.  2011. "What's Left of Leftism?  Neoliberal Politics in Western Party Systems, 1945-2008."  Social Science History 35, 3: 337-380. doi: 10.1215/01455532-1273339.  (Special issue on the chronologies and complexities of Western neoliberalism)

    Mudge, SL.  2008.  “What is Neo-liberalism?”  Socio-Economic Review 4: 703-731, doi: 10.1093/ser/mwn016, or here, or here.

    Book chapters

    Mudge, SL. 2017 (forthcoming). "Neo-liberalism and the study of "isms."" In Outhwaite, ed. The SAGE Handbook of Political Sociology.

    Mudge, SL. 2016. "Neoliberalism, Accomplished and Ongoing." In Springer, Birch & MacLeavy, eds., Handbook of Neoliberalism. Routledge.

    Commentary & online working papers

    Mudge, SL. Jan. 29, 2015. "Inequality and politics in the neo-gilded age: a view from the United States." speri.comment. (Here)

    Mudge, SL. 2014. "Critiquing a Shadow." Roundtable on "The Limits of Neo-Liberalism" with Bob Jessop, William Derbyshire, and William Davies. In Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy, 22, 3-4. (Here)

    Mudge, SL. Feb. 11, 2014. "Putting the 'political' into political economy. We really should care about how party politics works--or isn't working--in unsettled times." speri.comment. (Here)

    Mudge, SL. Feb. 2014. "The social bases of austerity: European tunnel vision and the curious case of the missing left." SPERI Paper no. 9. (Here)

    Mudge, SL. Oct. 17, 2013. "US standoff was fallout from the financial crisis--and it's not over." The Conversation. (Here)

    Mudge. SL. Sept. 19, 2013. "Of 'jobless recoveries' and anti-social science." speri.comment. (Here).

    Mudge. SL. 2009. “Elite Sociologists and the Sociology of Elites.”  European Political Science 8: 443-450.  (a brief review piece)


    Mudge, SL. In progress. "Parties in the Breach."

    ...with Johnnie Lotesta. In progress. "Party-Expert Relations and the Postwar Remaking of Democratic Politics."

    ... with Phyllis Jeffrey. In progress. "Counting Oneself In: How the AKP Mobilized Europe to Reconfigure the Turkish Political Field."

    Some Affiliations:

    American Sociological Association (ASA): I am an elected Council member of the ASA's Political Sociology section and its Comparative Historical Sociology section. I am on the editorial board of Sociological Theory and the Socio-economic Review.
    Social Science History Association (SSHA): Co-Chair, Politics Network.
    Junior Theorists Symposium (JTS): I am a past participant, organizer & current fan. **NOTE: the program for 2017 is up! Check it out:
    Other former & current affiliations include the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), the Council for European Studies, and the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI)

    Other details that may be of interest

    I have been the lucky recipient of fellowships and grants from the UC-Davis Institute for Social Sciences (ISS), the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, the France-Berkeley Fund, the Hellman Foundation, the Fulbright Association, the European University Institute's (EUI, Florence) Max Weber Programme, and the Max Planck Institute (MPIfG, Cologne).

    In my free time I like to cook, climb, paint, draw, and read fiction. But I have no free time, so I rarely do these things.

    1283 Social Sciences & 
    University of California, 
    One Shields Avenue 
    Davis, CA 95616

    (530) 752-0782 phone
    (530) 752-0783 fax

    Map and Additional Contact Information

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