Dear Colleague,

I would like to draw your attention to the following items:
(1) the recently published International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology;
(2) a course on contemporary capitalism this coming summer for young scholars, taught by Neil Fligstein and Woody Powell at the Center for Advanced Study at Stanford; and
(3) a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University.

The International Encyclopaedia of Economic Sociology is a very impressive 800-page volume edited by Jens Beckert and Milan Zafirovski, just published by Routledge. Some 200 European and U.S. economic sociologists have written entries on everything in economic sociology, from “Accounting, Sociology of” to “X-efficiency”. My sense is that this book will come in especially handy whenever one encounters a topic to which one needs a brief and knowledgeable introduction.

The course on “Economy and Society: Trajectories of Capitalism” will be taught during 5 weeks in the summer of 2006 by Neil Fligstein and Woody Powell. It is aimed at young scholars, particularly those placed outside the most elite research universities. For more information, please see below.

The postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University will be at the Harriman Institute, directed by David Stark. The deadline is January 2; and for more information, see the announcement below.

Richard Swedberg




Trajectories of Capitalism
July 11 through August 10, 2006
Cost of Living and Travel Allowance: $5,000

Neil Fligstein, Professor of Sociology
Columbia University and University of CaliforniaBerkeley

Walter W. Powell, Professor of Education, Sociology, Organizational Behavior, and Communication
Stanford University


The British political historian and social critic Eric Hobsbawm wryly commented that capitalism is a moving target.  The quest for profit and novelty at the core of the capitalist engine fuels both dynamism and restlessness, but the institutional underpinnings ­ political, social, and cultural ­  of the economy generate variety and shape direction.  Consequently, we observe considerable diversity in the organization of contemporary economies and polities.

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the connections between economy and society, and analyze the myriad ways in which national social, political, and educational institutions contribute to producing distinctive trajectories of capitalist development.  More concretely, the types of questions we are interested in include:

·          Can economies with high rates of technological innovation and experimentation co-exist with policies that support workplace security and equity?
·          Which institutional arrangements create barriers to the introduction of new ideas and policies and undermine the collective welfare of citizens?
·          How do we account for developing nations that combine rapid rates of economic growth and technologically sophisticated industries, with enduring patterns

of poverty and inequality?
·          What are the consequences of policies that support entrepreneurial activity but force workers to bear the brunt of economic dislocations?
·          What kinds of political, social, and economic institutions enable private enterprise to invest in learning and promote growth while providing some degree of

stability and social protection?

Participants will share ideas, insights, and perspectives from their field and work to expand our understanding of these shared theoretical questions.  Through daily group meetings, research presentations, readings, and informal discussions, the summer institute will promote the exchange of views and information and thereby enrich the thinking of all participants.  Eminent senior scholars will join the discussions.  We expect scholars to work on a paper or research project as part of their participation in the ongoing seminar. An important objective of the institute is to help younger scholars develop promising research projects.

All applicants must hold a doctoral degree.  Those eligible to apply include junior faculty, and scholars who are affiliated with four-year colleges or with colleges and universities attended predominantly by minority students, or with non-U.S. universities.  We welcome young scholars from a diversity of theoretical approaches and disciplines, including but not limited to those working on national innovation or business systems, political economy, comparative politics, varieties of capitalism, and economic sociology.  Applicants will be asked to explain the reasons for their interest in the institute and the relevance of the topic to their scholarly research.

The Center is located on a hillside overlooking the Stanford University campus.  Comfortable studies in beautiful surroundings will be provided.  An added advantage for the participants is the intellectual contact with Center Fellows who will be in residence during the summer.

Housing is available on the Stanford University campus and in nearby communities.  A member of the Center staff will help participants find suitable housing.

The institute is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  It is the seventeenth summer institute to be held at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

The deadline for submission of applications is January 9, 2006.  For an application form, write to Summer Institute, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 75 Alta Road, Stanford, CA 94305, or email [log in to unmask] (please put “Summer Institute” in your Subject line).



The Harriman Institute invites applications for post-doctoral support from junior scholars in all disciplines. The post-doctoral fellowship is intended primarily to support the re-crafting of a dissertation for book publication. The principal requirement is academic excellence and the prospect that a dissertation, when it appears as a book, will make a significant contribution to the study of Russia, Eurasia, East Central Europe, or Post-Communism.

A portion of the awards will be reserved for scholars whose work is particularly appropriate to the annual core research program featured by the Institute. For the academic year 2006-2007 the focus will be on the “Social and Political Contexts of Economic Transformation in Post-Socialism.” In this case, the overall project will convene a group of scholars to study the social, institutional and cultural context of economic transformation in Russia and Eastern Europe. It is expected that scholars will, from different perspectives, investigate how rapid political and economic reforms in the first years of post-socialism led to the emergence of powerful economic actors, well-connected politicians, and fluid and contested institutions. Those leading the project (David Stark, Timothy Frye, and Alexander Cooley) are especially interested in forms of network analysis as well as empirical research on institutions. The expected payoff is a broad cross-pollination of knowledge about rules-based structures and relational ties.

Postdoctoral awards are normally for one academic year, although in some cases the support can be for one semester. They require that the recipient be in residence at Columbia. While at Columbia, postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to participate in the intellectual life of the Institute, but have no obligations beyond making progress with their own projects. All fellows have access to the Institute's reading room, archives, lectures, and discussions as well as the resources within the Columbia library system. Although the Institute’s space is limited, it does accommodate postdoctoral fellows with desk areas.

Eligibility is restricted to those applicants who have received the Ph.D. within the five years prior to the fellowship period for which they are applying. All candidates must have successfully defended their dissertations prior to the commencement of the fellowship.

To apply, candidates should send the following materials to the Fellowship Committee, c/o Barbara Singleton, at the address below, by January 2 (fellowships begin the following September):

o A research plan outlining how the scholar's time will be spent at the Institute

o A curriculum vitae

o A substantial portion of the applicant's dissertation (one or two chapters, or an abstract of the dissertation)

In addition, the applicant should have three letters of recommendation sent to the Fellowship Committee of the Harriman Institute. Applicants will be notified in a timely manner.