Andreas Wiedemann — 2019 Gabriel A. Almond Award Recipient

The American Political Science Association (APSA) will present the Gabriel A. Almond Award to Dr. Andreas Wiedemann at the 2019 APSA Annual Meeting & Exhibition, the world’s largest gathering of political scientists and source for emerging scholarship in the discipline.  The $750 award recognizes the best dissertation on comparative politics.

Andreas Wiedemann is an Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University.  His broader research focuses on topics in political economy and comparative politics in advanced democracies, specifically on financial markets, wealth inequality, and social policies.  In his current work, he explores the political causes and consequences of household indebtedness across countries, the effects of wealth in general and debt in particular on economic insecurity, and the consequences of rising indebtedness on electoral behavior and political attitudes toward redistribution and the welfare state.  His research has been supported by the John Fell Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, and the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, among others.  He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 2018.

Here is what the Award Committee had to say about their decision:

The Committee for the Gabriel A. Almond Award for the Best Dissertation in Comparative Politics in 2019 unanimously selected Andreas Wiedemann’s Indebted Societies: Modern Labor Markets, Social Policy, and Everyday Borrowing.

This masterful dissertation brings into conversation bodies of literature that have not previously been effectively integrated, demonstrating how credit and social welfare regimes interact in shaping citizens’ life trajectories, responses to risk, and political attitudes in advanced industrial democracies.  Wiedemann’s study is elegant, rigorous, and innovative, providing a clear and convincing argument that is exceptional in its ability to speak to multiple audiences across political science.  Andreas’ work is truly comparative in the broadest sense of the word, first by bridging the American Politics/Comparative Politics divide with his persuasive case studies of three countries, the United States, Denmark, and Germany; second by bridging the quantitative/qualitative divide, by integrating these case studies with analysis of original cross-national survey data from wealthy democracies.  The linkages between financial markets, national economies, and different families of welfare states are especially well drawn and brilliantly elucidated.  Notably, although focused on advanced democracies, the dissertation is so theoretically interesting and rich that it also suggests wide-ranging theoretical and empirical implications for scholarship on middle-income and lower-income states.  Finally, the work is impressive for its contributions to literatures in political economy, political behavior, and comparative politics, and for its important insights into how we understand inequality within and across countries.

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