About Paul Pierson

Government, Political Science

Paul Pierson is a leading exponent of contemporary political science and has made seminal and enduring contributions to the broader social sciences. He has advanced political science by making its findings relevant to policy and broader public discourse, and he is particularly gifted in translating academic work for policymakers. Pierson’s works are among some of the most cited in political science: his research focuses on American politics and public policy, comparative political economy, and social theory.

Professional positions
  • 2004–present: Professor (2004–2010) and John D. Gross Professor of Political Science (2010–present), University of California, Berkeley
  • 1989–2004: Assistant (1989–1993), associate (1993–1996), and full (1996–2003) of government and Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy (2003–2004), Harvard University
Notable publications
  • Pierson, Paul. 2004. Politics in Time: History, Institutions and Social Analysis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Pierson, Paul. 2000. “Path dependence, increasing returns, and the study of politics.” American Political Science Review 94(2): 251–267.
  • Pierson, Paul. 1994. Dismantling the Welfare State? Reagan, Thatcher and the Politics of Retrenchment. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pierson, Paul. 1993. “When effect becomes cause: Policy feedback and political change.” World Politics 45(4): 595–628.
  • PhD, political science, Yale University
  • MPhil, political science, Yale University
  • MA, political science, Yale University
  • BA, government, Oberlin College
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