My teaching, research, and popular writing investigate the quality of democratic governance. Much of my current work focuses on challenges facing the United States in an era of acute economic inequality and intense political polarization.
Paul Pierson is the John Gross Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he directs the newly established Berkeley Economy and Society Initiative. Pierson is the author or co-author of six books, numerous journal articles, and a wide range of popular writings on American politics and public policy. Four of his books have been co-authored by Jacob Hacker (Franklin Foer in the New York Times Book Review calls them “two of the most reliable and reliably creative thinkers in their discipline”). Their latest book is Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality. Previously, the two wrote American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper—a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and a best business book of 2016 according to Strategy+Business. Their 2010 bestseller Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class recast the debate over U.S. economic inequality, showing how the rise of the superrich in the United States is closely linked to American politics and policy. Prior to this Pierson wrote Politics in Time: History, Institutions and Social Analysis (2004) and Dismantling the Welfare State? Reagan, Thatcher and the Politics of Retrenchment (1994). A former Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, his recent honors include election to the American Academy of Political and Social Science as the 2022 Robert A. Dahl Fellow.