Thomas Ferguson (academic)

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Thomas Ferguson
Born 1949
Fields Political science
Institutions University of Massachusetts Boston, MIT, University of Texas, Austin
Alma mater Princeton University (Ph.D.)
Known for Investment theory of party competition
Influences Adam Ferguson[1]

Thomas Ferguson (born 1949) is an American political scientist and author who studies and writes on politics and economics, often within a historical perspective. He is a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a member of the advisory board for the Institute for New Economic Thinking. He obtained his Ph.D. from Princeton University. A contributing editor for The Nation and a contributing writer to The Huffington Post, he is a frequent guest and economic commentator on numerous radio and television programs. He is known for his investment theory of party competition.

MIT controversy[edit]

According to Noam Chomsky, Thomas Ferguson was warned while at MIT that his research might get him denied tenure at the Political Science Department. In Chomsky's account, Ferguson was told “If you ever want to get tenure in this department, keep away from anything after the New Deal; you can write all of your radical stuff up to the New Deal, but if you try and do it for the post-New Deal period, you're never going to get tenure in this department." Although not explicitly mentioned, the research was ostensibly the investment theory of party competition.[2]

Selected works[edit]

Ferguson has written numerous scholarly articles, magazine pieces, and a number of books.


Popular press[edit]


  • 1995. Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Politics
  • 1986. Right Turn: The Decline of the Democrats and the Future of American Politics with co-author Joel Rogers.
  • 1984. The Political Economy: Readings in the Politics and Economics of American Public Policy


  1. ^ Review of Golden Rule in the The Independent Review
  2. ^ Chomsky, Noam. "Understanding Power." Ed. Mitchell, Peter R. and John Schoeffel. New York: The New Press, 2002.

External links[edit]