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Kathleen Thelen

Faculty Associate & Seminar Co-chair


Kathleen Thelen

Kathleen Thelen is Ford Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and president-elect of the American Political Science Association. At the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES), she co-chairs the Seminar on State and Capitalism since 1800. Her most recent books are Attention, Shoppers! American Retail Capitalism and the Origins of the Amazon Economy (forthcoming 2024), Varieties of Liberalization and the New Politics of Social Solidarity (2014) and Advances in Comparative Historical Analysis (co-editor with J. Mahoney, 2015). She is also co-editor of The American Political Economy: Politics, Markets, and Power (with Jacob Hacker, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, and Paul Pierson, 2022). Recent awards include the Barrington Moore Book Prize (2015) and the “best book” award of APSA’s European Politics section (2015). A previous book, How Institutions Evolve, received the Mattei Dogan Prize and the Woodrow Wilson Prize. Thelen was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015 and to the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences in 2009.

Photo Credit: Gretchen Ertl


  • Ford Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Faculty Associate & Seminar Co-chair, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University