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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 Fall 2016 :

  • Fall 2016: 4:10-5:10 Tuesdays & 12:10-1:10 Thursdays


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


Research Interests

  • General: historical approaches to the study of politics & culture in Western countries
  • Specific: political parties, leftism & progressivism, European integration, social & economic policy, expertise & expert professions, neoliberalism

Current Research

My forthcoming book, tentatively titled Reinventing Leftism, 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). The book looks at four parties (the Swedish SAP, the German SPD, British Labour, and the American Democrats) and the experts inside of them in order to explain leftism's reinventions. 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). I am also a co-editor (with Thomas Janoski, Joya Misra, and Cedric de Leon) of a 2nd edition-in-the-making of the well-loved Handbook of Political Sociology (Cambridge University Press).

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; 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), where I am an Honorary Research Fellow. 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 in social problems. I have also taught courses on education, research methods, neoliberalism, and debt. More specifically:

On the undergraduate level, I teach a classical theory course (Soc 100), political sociology, and social problems. In 2016 I taught a new honors social problems course (Soc 3) on Debt & Inequality, which I will offer again in 2017. Debt is now everywhere, and is having major political effects -- not to mention deep consequences for people's lives. The course is designed to help students think critically about debt by putting it in historical and comparative context, considering different ways of thinking about the nature of debt, examining its relationship with inequality, and looking at the evidence on debt's effects for well-being and life chances. This is a highly student-centered course, run mainly as a discussion seminar, in which students write a series of short memos and also do a final, interview-based project.

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 a graduate special topics seminar (the syllabus is here) on neoliberalism (295), which I hope to offer again. In fall 2016 I will teach a special topics course (295) on knowledge, power, and politics.

Some of my syllabi can be found here.

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

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. 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. Forthcoming. Reinventing Leftism: Left Parties, Economics & the Rise of Neoliberal Politics.

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 a Council member of the ASA's Political Sociology section and its Comparative Historical Sociology section. I am on the editorial board of Sociological Theory.
Social Science History Association (SSHA): Co-Chair, Politics Network. The 2016 conference will be held in Chicago from November 17-20.
Junior Theorists Symposium (JTS): I am a past participant, organizer & current fan. The 2016 program is 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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