Basak Kus Is the MPIfG Scholar in Residence 2024

Basak Kus is an Associate Professor of Government at Wesleyan University. She received her PhD in Sociology from UC Berkeley in 2008. Prior to joining Wesleyan in 2012, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Yale and Princeton universities and taught political economy and public policy at University College Dublin in Ireland.

Basak Kus teaches and writes about the interplay between the state, capitalism, and democracy, with a specific focus on the United States. A central question drives her diverse research interests: How do governments (the US government, in particular) conceptualize and respond to crises and risks across different fields, whether it is the financial sector, climate change, or national security? Her work to date has delved into themes such as economic crises and liberalization reforms, the restructuring of the welfare state, state-labor union relations, regulation of the financial sector, financialization, debt, and the politics of inequality. She recently finished a book manuscript examining the evolution of the state-finance relationship from the early 1970s onward, specifically in the context of the US financial crisis and subsequent political developments: Disembedded: Regulation, Crisis, and Democracy in the Age of Finance (in press, Oxford University Press). Currently she is working on a book tracing the historical evolution of US climate policy, from the initial environmental protection debates in the 1970s to its current form. The book delves into the nexus between climate and the economy, exploring how economic objectives have shaped environmental protection efforts and the management of climate-related risks, while also emphasizing the critical role economists have played in formulating policies aimed at mitigating these risks.

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