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|Fields||Political Science, comparative public policy|
|Institutions||University of California, Berkeley|
|Alma mater||Oberlin College (B.A.)
Yale University (Ph.D.)
|Known for||Winner-Take-All Politics,
• The Transformation of American Politics,
• Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy
Paul Pierson (born 1959) is a professor of political science and holder of the John Gross Endowed Chair of Political Science (and he holds/held the Avice Saint Chair of Public Policy) at the University of California, Berkeley. From 2007-2010 he served at UC Berkeley as Chair of the Department of Political Science. He is noted for his research on comparative public policy and political economy, the welfare state, and American political development.
Pierson is a native of Eugene, Oregon, where both of his parents taught at the University of Oregon. He graduated with a B.A. in government from Oberlin College in 1981 and then attended graduate school at Yale University, completing an M.A. and M.Phil in 1986 and a PhD degree in political science in 1989.
Pierson's first book, Dismantling the Welfare State?, was a revision of his doctoral dissertation and won the American Political Science Association's Kammerer Prize for the best work on American national politics published in 1994. His journal article “Increasing Returns, Path Dependence, and the Study of Politics” won the Heinz Eulau Award for the best article published in the American Political Science Review in 2000. His 2010 book with Jacob Hacker, Winner-Take-All Politics, was a New York Times bestseller. Their most recent book is American Amnesia, which argues for the restoration and reinvigoration of the United States' mixed economy.
Pierson was president of the Politics and History Section of the American Political Science Association for 2003-04.
Pierson is married to Tracey Goldberg, a landscape architect. They live in Berkeley, CA with their two children.
- American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper. with Jacob Hacker. Simon & Schuster. 2016. ISBN 978-1-4516-6782-0.
- Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. with Jacob Hacker. Simon & Schuster. 2010. ISBN 978-1-4165-8869-6.
- The Transformation of American Politics: Activist Government and the Rise of Conservatism. 2007. Princeton University Press. (edited with Theda Skocpol).
- My Stint in the Slammer. A Tale of Two Palms. 2006
- Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy. 2005. Yale University Press. (with Jacob Hacker).
- Politics in Time: History, Institutions, and Social Analysis. 2004. Princeton University Press.
- "Imposing Losses in Pension Policy." 1993. In Do Institutions Matter? Government Capabilities in the United States and Abroad. Brookings Institution Press. eds. R. Kent Weaver, and Bert A. Rockman. (written with R. Kent Weaver).
- "Historical Institutionalism in Contemporary Political Science." In Political Science: The State of the Discipline, eds. I. Katznelson and H. Milner. W.W. Norton. (written with Theda Skocpol).
- The New Politics of the Welfare State. 2001. Oxford University Press. (editor).
- "Increasing Returns, Path Dependence, and the Study of Politics." 2000. American Political Science Review 94(2): 251-267.
- "Not Just What, but When: Timing and Sequence in Political Processes." 2000. Studies in American Political Development 14(1): 73-93.
- European Social Policy: Between Fragmentation and Integration. 1995. Brookings Institution Press. (edited with Stephan Leibfried).
- Dismantling the Welfare State? Reagan, Thatcher and the Politics of Retrenchment. 1994. Cambridge University Press.