About Theda Skocpol

Government, Political Science, Sociology

Theda Skocpol is an intellectual leader whose scholarship has transformed the kinds of questions that social scientists ask. Her influence among political scientists, sociologists, and historians is broad and deep, and her promotion of a return to civic engagement by scholars is transforming the ways in which Americans think about the future of their own democracy. The author of thirteen books and countless other published pieces, Skocpol is one of the most widely cited political scientists in America. She speaks regularly to community and civic groups and contributes often to the public discourse in the opinion pages of newspapers and magazines. She is the founder and director of the Scholars Strategy Network, which is dedicated to improving public policy and strengthening democracy by encouraging nonpartisan public engagement by university-based scholars.

Professional positions
  • 1986–present: Professor of sociology (1986–1994), professor of government and sociology (1995–1997), and Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University
  • 1981–1986: Associate (1981–1984) and full professor (1984–1986) of sociology and political science, University of Chicago
  • 1975–1981: Assistant and associate professor of sociology, Harvard University
Notable publications
  • Jacobs, Lawrence R., and Theda Skocpol. 2010. Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Skocpol, Theda. 2003. Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.
  • Skocpol, Theda. 1992. Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.
  • Skocpol, Theda. 1979. States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • PhD, Harvard University
  • MA, Harvard University
  • BA, Michigan State University
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