Paul Pierson

Paul Pierson

Title
Professor
Department
Dept of Political Science
Phone
(510) 643-6424
Research Expertise and Interest
public policy, political economy, American politics
Research Description

Paul Pierson is the John Gross Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. Pierson’s teaching and research includes the fields of American politics and public policy, comparative political economy, and social theory. His most recent books are Off-Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy (Yale University Press 2005), co-authored by Jacob Hacker,  Politics in Time: History, Institutions and Social Analysis (Princeton University Press 2004), and  The Transformation of American Politics: Activist Government and the Rise of Conservatism (Princeton University Press 2007), which was co-edited with Theda Skocpol, and Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (Simon and Schuster 2010), also co-authored by Jacob Hacker. Pierson is an active commentator on public affairs, whose writings have recently appeared in such outlets as The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, and The New Republic.  

Pierson is also the author of Dismantling the Welfare State? Reagan, Thatcher, and the Politics of Retrenchment (Cambridge 1994), which won the American Political Science Association's 1995 prize for the best book on American national politics. His article "Path Dependence, Increasing Returns and the Study of Politics" won the APSA’s prize for the best article in the American Political Science Review in 2000, as well as the Aaron Wildavsky Prize for its enduring contribution to the field of public policy, awarded by the Public Policy Section of the APSA in 2011. He has served on the editorial boards of The American Political Science Review,  Perspectives  on Politics,  and The Annual Review of Political Science. From 2007 to 2010 he served as Chair of the Berkeley political science department.

In the News

July 10, 2020

How plutocrats, populists are driving a precarious moment in U.S. history

For anyone who wants to understand the rise and reign of Donald Trump, one question may be paramount: Why have laid-off industrial workers, hardscrabble farmers and ranchers, and millions who lack health care embraced a conservative movement that expressly serves the economic interests of America’s wealthiest 1%?
June 28, 2019

Why is America’s government broken, a new paper asks

America’s political system isn’t working and there’s one clear culprit, according to a new article from a Berkeley political scientist: the contemporary Republican Party. The Republican Party has “mutated” over the last 20 years from a traditionally conservative party that argued for limited government and traditional values into an “insurgent force that threatens the norms and institutions of American democracy.”

In the News

July 10, 2020

How plutocrats, populists are driving a precarious moment in U.S. history

For anyone who wants to understand the rise and reign of Donald Trump, one question may be paramount: Why have laid-off industrial workers, hardscrabble farmers and ranchers, and millions who lack health care embraced a conservative movement that expressly serves the economic interests of America’s wealthiest 1%?
June 28, 2019

Why is America’s government broken, a new paper asks

America’s political system isn’t working and there’s one clear culprit, according to a new article from a Berkeley political scientist: the contemporary Republican Party. The Republican Party has “mutated” over the last 20 years from a traditionally conservative party that argued for limited government and traditional values into an “insurgent force that threatens the norms and institutions of American democracy.”

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
July 10, 2020
Geoffrey Kabaservice
Authors Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, professors of political science at Yale and the University of California, Berkeley, argue in their book 'Let Them Eat Tweets' that the Republican Party's dependence on its top donors explains much of its trajectory in recent decades, leading to the rise of Trump. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News.
FullStory (*requires registration)

Loading Class list ...
.