I am an associate professor of organizational studies and (by courtesy) sociology at the University of Michigan, working at the intersection of organizations, economic sociology, and the sociology of science and knowledge. Much of my work focuses on recent U.S. history and emphasizes the role of public policy.
Currently, I am completing a book manuscript, Thinking Like an Economist: How Economics Became the Language of U.S. Public Policy (under contract with Princeton University Press, read Ch. 1 here), which provides a new answer to the question, “What happened to the U.S. in the 1970s?” The book shows how an economic style of reasoning was institutionalized in the policy process between the 1960s and the 1980s. While much of this change came from center-left technocrats affiliated with the Democratic party, its unintended consequence was to reinforce a conservative turn in politics.
My first book, Creating the Market University: How Academic Science Became an Economic Engine, was published in 2012, also by Princeton University Press. It received the President’s Book Award from the Social Science History Association, and the Max Weber Award for Distinguished Scholarship and the Pierre Bourdieu Award from the American Sociological Association.
I received my PhD in Sociology from Berkeley in 2007. I am a consulting editor for the American Journal of Sociology, on the editorial board of the American Sociological Review, and on the steering committee of SocArXiv.