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Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Postdoctoral Fellow chosen for the University of Wisconsin-Madison site will be housed in the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), a national policy center and field laboratory for "high-road" economic development directed by Joel Rogers. COWS engages in collaborative, experimental, and evidence-driven research that seeks to understand the kinds of institutional innovations that would promote a competitive market economy of shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and capable democratic government.

The University of Wisconsin Sociology Department has a well-established graduate training program in Economic Sociology. Elsewhere, economic sociology programs often define their intellectual agenda in opposition to economics. At Wisconsin, in contrast, the Economic Sociology Program tries to engage in a deep dialogue with the theories and models of that discipline, with particular attention to the latter's increased attention to information asymmetries, transactions costs, path-dependency, spatial and network externalities, and non-linear growth dynamics- all of which point to the importance of non-market-based social organization for the functioning of the economy.

In terms of substantive themes, the program focuses primarily on the problems and possibilities of economic governance in an increasingly complex, volatile, and interdependent world. The central questions addressed in the program include: What are the current and prospective contributions of different governance mechanisms such as markets, firms, states, and associations to the effective functioning of the economy under these conditions? How do patterns of governance vary across national and regional economies, and what are the consequences for their performance? How can economic processes be steered to ensure sustainable growth and socially acceptable outcomes in light of the eroding regulatory capacities of national states? The program thus has a distinctly macro-institutional focus, with a strong emphasis on comparative analysis and political economy.

A central part of the Wisconsin Economic Sociology Program is a weekly research workshop in which graduate students and faculty present work-in-progress. This workshop will provide Postdoctoral Fellows an immediate setting in which to discuss their work in a diverse and challenging interdisciplinary setting and to engage the research of other scholars in the area.

Besides COWS, there are two other research centers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison connected in different ways to the Sociology Department that would be especially relevant for Postdoctoral Fellows. The Havens Center for the Study of Social Structure and Social Change, directed by Erik Olin Wright, is concerned with strengthening research and academic debate over questions of social justice and contemporary institutions. It sponsors many lectures and conferences on these issues and has coordinated the Real Utopias Project since the early 1990s. The Institute for Research on Poverty, directed by Timothy Smeeding, is one of the major research centers in the country for policy-relevant research on poverty.

Faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who have agreed to actively participate as mentors within the program are: Joel Rogers, Erik Olin Wright, Leanne Tigges, Gay Seidman, Gary Green, Markus Gangl, Chad Goldberg, James Montgomery, and Jane Collins.

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Postmark Deadline: December 21, 2011