Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The American Political Economy
Politics, Markets, and Power

$29.99 (G)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

Jacob S. Hacker, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Paul Pierson, Kathleen Thelen, Nathan J. Kelly, Jana Morgan, K. Sabeel Rahman, Chloe Thurston, Jessica Trounstine, Thomas K. Ogorzalek, Jacob M. Grumbach, Herman Mark Schwartz, Benjamin Braun, Suresh Naidu, David Soskice, Lucy Barnes, Ben Ansell, Jane Gingrich
View all contributors
  • Date Published: November 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781009014861

$ 29.99 (G)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Request examination copy

Instructors may request a copy of this title for examination

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This volume brings together leading political scientists to explore the distinctive features of the American political economy. The introductory chapter provides a comparatively informed framework for analyzing the interplay of markets and politics in the United States, focusing on three key factors: uniquely fragmented and decentralized political institutions; an interest group landscape characterized by weak labor organizations and powerful, parochial business groups; and an entrenched legacy of ethno-racial divisions embedded in both government and markets. Subsequent chapters look at the fundamental dynamics that result, including the place of the courts in multi-venue politics, the political economy of labor, sectional conflict within and across cities and regions, the consolidation of financial markets and corporate monopoly and monopsony power, and the ongoing rise of the knowledge economy. Together, the chapters provide a revealing new map of the politics of democratic capitalism in the United States.

    • Provides a comprehensive analysis of the American political economy in comparative perspective
    • Develops a theoretical framework that emphasizes how distinctive features of the US political economy have interacted with one another over time to produce unique patterns of inequality, power, and precarity
    • Sheds new light on under-examined institutions, actors, and arenas of conflict, generating insights for the study of both American politics and comparative politics
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Until recently, specialists in American politics have left debates about globalization, the rise of economic inequality, and the transformation of labor markets to economists and scholars of comparative politics. In this impressive volume, an accomplished group of scholars demonstrates the value of integrating the study of American politics with an interdisciplinary political economy approach that embraces sober and systematic explorations of the most urgent questions of our time.' Jonathan Rodden, Stanford University

    'The American Political Economy is an agenda-setting collection, a must-read of theoretically bold and empirically wide-ranging contributions to our understanding of galloping inequalities and democratic erosions in the contemporary United States. Business power, union decline, racial inequities, government weakness, and regional disparities – all get provocative fresh looks here. Scholars and students alike will find much to debate and new questions to investigate.' Theda Skocpol, Harvard University

    'Injecting the study of American politics with a badly needed dual dose of economic realism and comparative insight, The American Political Economy reminds us of the inescapable and mutual embedding of a fragmented state in a heterogeneous economy and a racially divided populace. A transformative collection whose paradigmatic lessons will keep on giving, for decades.' Dan Carpenter, Harvard University

    'This is the rare edited volume that features real intellectual heft. It not only bids fair to reorient the study of American political life but it also promises to shape the scholarly sensibilities of generations to come. Drawing on contributions from a dazzling roster of luminaries and rising stars, it makes a compelling case that political economy should occupy a central place in our understanding of American politics.' Anthony S. Chen, Northwestern University

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781009014861
    • length: 400 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 29 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    American political economy: a framework and agenda for research Jacob S. Hacker, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Paul Pierson, and Kathleen Thelen
    Part I. Political Arenas and Actors:
    1. Hurdles to shared prosperity: congress, parties, and the national policy process in an era of inequality Nathan J. Kelly and Jana Morgan
    2. The role of the law in the American political economy K. Sabeel Rahman and Kathleen Thelen
    3. Collective action, law, and the fragmented development of the American labor movement Alexander Hertel-Fernandez
    Part II. Race, Space, and Governance:
    4. Racial inequality, market inequality, and the American political economy Chloe Thurston
    5. The production of local inequality: race, class, and land use in American cities Jessica Trounstine
    6. The city re-centered? Local inequality mitigation in the twenty-first century Thomas K. Ogorzalek
    7. The political economies of red states Jacob M. Grumbach, Jacob S. Hacker, and Paul Pierson
    Part III. Corporate Power and Concentration:
    8. Mo' patents, mo' problems: corporate strategy, structure and profitability in America's political economy Herman Mark Schwartz
    9. Asset manager capitalism as a corporate governance regime Benjamin Braun
    10. Labor market power in the American political economy Suresh Naidu
    Part IV. The American Knowledge Economy:
    11. The United States as radical innovation driver: the politics of declining dominance? David Soskice
    12. Public investment in the knowledge economy Lucy Barnes
    13. Concentration and commodification: the political economy of post-industrialism in America and beyond Ben Ansell and Jane Gingrich
    14. The American political economy confronts covid-19 Jacob S. Hacker, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Paul Pierson, and Kathleen Thelen.

  • Editors

    Jacob S. Hacker, Yale University, Connecticut
    Jacob S. Hacker is Stanley Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University. He is the author or co-author of six books, including, most recently, Let Them Eat Tweets and American Amnesia (with Paul Pierson) (2020).

    Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Columbia University, New York
    Alexander Hertel-Fernandez is Associate Professor at Columbia University. He studies the politics of US public policy with a focus on labor, business, and the workplace. He is the author of Politics at Work (2018), which won the 2019 Robert A. Dahl and Gladys Kammerer Awards from the American Political Science Association, and State Capture.

    Paul Pierson, University of California, Berkeley
    Paul Pierson is John Gross Professor of Political Science at University of California, Berkeley. He is the author or co-author of six books on American and comparative politics, including Let Them Eat Tweets and American Amnesia (with Hacker) (2020).

    Kathleen Thelen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Kathleen Thelen is Ford Professor of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research examines the origins and impact of political-economic institutions in the rich democracies. Her books include Varieties of Liberalization and the New Politics of Social Solidarity (Cambridge, 2014) and How Institutions Evolve (Cambridge, 2008), which won the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award of the American Political Science Association.


    Jacob S. Hacker, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Paul Pierson, Kathleen Thelen, Nathan J. Kelly, Jana Morgan, K. Sabeel Rahman, Chloe Thurston, Jessica Trounstine, Thomas K. Ogorzalek, Jacob M. Grumbach, Herman Mark Schwartz, Benjamin Braun, Suresh Naidu, David Soskice, Lucy Barnes, Ben Ansell, Jane Gingrich

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.