Kathleen Thelen photo by Tony Rinaldo
KathleenThelen
2010–2011
Matina S. Horner Distinguished Visiting Professor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Political Science
The Future of Egalitarian Capitalism, in Light of Its Past

Kathleen Thelen is the Ford Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a permanent external scientific member of the Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung, and a senior research fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Her work focuses on explaining the institutional arrangements that distinguish different “varieties of capitalism” across the developed democracies. Thelen’s book How Institutions Evolve: The Political Economy of Skills in Germany, Britain, the United States, and Japan (Cambridge University Press, 2004) won the Society for Comparative Research’s Mattei Dogan Award and the American Political Science Association’s (APSA) Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award.

Thelen’s current project addresses contemporary possibilities for egalitarian capitalism in the rich democracies in comparative and historical perspective. Focusing on developments across five countries—Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and Sweden—Thelen uses cross-national comparison and historical analysis to identify the political-coalitional foundations on which egalitarian capitalism has traditionally rested and to explore the forces that sustain or undermine solidarity in the current context.

Thelen earned her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She has received awards and fellowships from the American-Scandinavian Foundation, the Max Planck Society, the National Science Foundation, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and other organizations. She has served as chair of the Council for European Studies and is president-elect of APSA’s comparative politics section. She is a member of the advisory board of Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and of the board of trustees of the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung. In 2009, Thelen was inducted into to the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften.

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.