Kathleen Thelen

Ford Professor of Political Science


Kathleen Thelen is Ford Professor of Political Science at MIT and Permanent External Member of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany. As a Faculty Associate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, she co-organizes the Center’s Seminar on State and Capitalism since 1800 with Peter A. Hall. Along with Jacob Hacker, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, and Paul Pierson, she organizes a Hewlett Foundation Project, Advancing a New Field of American Political Economy. Thelen also serves as General Editor of the Cambridge University Press series, Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics.

Thelen has served as President of the American Political Science Association (2017-2018), as Chair of the Council for European Studies (2002-2006), and as President of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (2008-2009). She was also President of the APSA Section on Comparative Politics Section (2011-13) and of the APSA Section on Politics and History (2007-2008).  

Thelen was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015 and to the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences in 2009. She holds honorary degrees at the Free University of Amsterdam (2013), the London School of Economics (2017), the European University Institute in Florence (2018), and the University of Copenhagen (2018).

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