Focusing on finance, my work is on the barriers to economic democracy and the conditions under which it might be realized. My research shows that allocation of finance should not be left to businesses and states, but rather should be a matter for public deliberation. As such, I work with community organizations aiming to reclaim control over investment for the social and environmental good.
My book, Dismantling Solidarity: Capitalist Politics and American Pensions since the New Deal, published with Cornell University Press, explores the financialization of retirement savings. Through archival research dating back to the 1930s, its show how pools of working-class wealth were controlled and allocated by Wall Street asset managers in ways that worsened labor standards, enhanced macroeconomic instability and hastened climate change. It was awarded the Paul Sweezy Book Award and an honorable mention for Labor and Labor Movements Distinguished Book Award, both through the American Sociological Association.
My second book, under contract with Verso Books, explores competing proposals for democratizing global finance as not merely economic projects that can redirect economic and environmental risk and wealth, but also political projects that might upend and transform current configurations of financial power. It argues for a radical but realizable idea: the allocation of public finance through new democratic institutions called deliberative minipublics. It is tentatively titled The Master’s Tools: The Politics of Democratizing Finance.
I am undertaking this project and others as a 2021-2023 Berggruen Research Fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life. I am also Associate Professor of Sociology at Marquette University, received my Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University and am a former postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.