Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Kathleen Thelen is Ford Professor of Political Science at MIT. She received her B.A. from the University of Kansas and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Thelen is a comparativist whose work focuses on the origins and evolution of political-economic institutions in the rich democracies. Her latest book, Varieties of Liberalization and the New Politics of Social Solidarity (2014), received the Barrington Moore Prize and was co-winner of Best Book in the European Politics and Society Section. A previous work, How Institutions Evolve, was selected for the 2006 Mattei Dogan Award, and shared the 2005 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award. Thelen has also contributed to the literature on institutional analysis, including Advances in Comparative Historical Analysis (2015) and Explaining Institutional Change (2010), both coedited with James Mahoney, Beyond Continuity (2005, with Wolfgang Streeck) and Structuring Politics (1992, with Sven Steinmo). Her article, “Historical Institutionalism in Comparative Politics” remains the most cited and most downloaded contribution to the Annual Review of Political Science. Her work has also appeared in a number of journals, including World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Politics & Society, among others.
Thelen has been awarded fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study (Berlin), Radcliffe Institute, Oxford University, the Max-Planck-Society, and the American-Scandinavian Foundation, among others. She is a Permanent External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, and has held visiting appointments in Europe (Sweden, UK, France, Denmark) and Latin America (Mexico, Argentina). She was Chair of the Council for European Studies (2002-2006) and President of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (2008-2009). Along with Erik Wibbels, she edits the Cambridge University Press Series in Comparative Politics. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 2015) and its German equivalent, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (since 2009).
Thelen has been active in the Association, most recently as a member of APSA Council and Treasurer. She has also served on numerous committees and as an officer in several Organized Sections — Comparative Politics (President), Politics and History (President), Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (Vice-President), and European Politics and Society (Treasurer).
Statement of Views
I would work to enhance participation and to promote diversity within our association and profession, seeking especially to enhance opportunities for women and minorities to flourish and thrive. I am committed to methodological pluralism and dedicated to teaching and mentoring and would strive to ensure that these activities are sufficiently recognized and rewarded.