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Brian Gifford and Greta Krippner Award Statement

The award selection committee selected two recipients for the 2004 ASA Dissertation Award: Brian Gifford, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, for his States, Soldiers, and Social Welfare: Military Personnel and the Welfare State in the Advanced Industrial Democracies, and Greta Krippner, for her The Fictitious Economy: Financialization, the State, and Contemporary Capitalism .

Brian Gifford, a postdoctoral fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, worked on States, Soldiers, and Social Welfare at New York University; the chair of his dissertation committee was Dalton Conley. The committee members believe that this dissertation exemplifies careful research and lucid writing in comparative, historical, and political sociology. Looking across countries and within the United States, Gifford finds that countries that support large military forces create the smallest welfare states. Even controlling for economic and demographic variables, states with the most men and women serving in the military offer the fewest direct social welfare benefits. Gifford plans to use these findings to write a more general book on the development of the welfare state in the United States.

Greta Krippner, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California-Los Angeles, wrote The Fictitious Economy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the joint sponsorship of Jane Collins and Erik Olin Wright. The committee members believe that her work shows economic sociology at its concrete best, using quantitative and qualitative data to rewrite the history of the recent era of globalization, stock market booms and busts, and shifts in economic policy between presidential administrations. The Fictitious Economy leads to a more subtle view of the state’s role in economic policy-making, emphasizing the inconsistencies and oppositions among seemingly like-minded state actors as well as their ideological commitment to the discourse of the free market. Krippner plans to broaden her research and publish the dissertation as a book.