Elisabeth S. Clemens

Elisabeth S. Clemens’ research explores the role of social movements and organizational innovation in political change. Prof. Clemens' first book, The People's Lobby: Organizational Innovation and the Rise of Interest Group Politics in the United States, 1890-1925 (1997) received best book awards in both organizational sociology in 1998 and political sociology in 1999. She is also co-editor of Private Action and the Public Good (1998), Remaking Modernity: Politics, History and Sociology (2005), and Politics and Partnerships: Voluntary Associations in America's Past and Present (2010). She was co-editor of the Studies in American Political Development and is currently editor of the American Journal of Sociology.

She has just published Civic Gifts: Voluntarism and the Making of the American Nation-State (2020) which traces the tense but powerful entanglements of benevolence and liberalism in the development of American political culture and governance.

Prof. Clemens has served terms as chair of both the political sociology, organizations, and comparative historical sociology sections of the American Sociological Association, as a member of the Social Science Research Council Program on Philanthropy and the Third Sector, and as president of the Social Science History Association for 2012-13.

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