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John L. Campbell

Class of 1925 Professor & Professor of Sociology Emeritus, Dartmouth College

About John

Campbell’s research focuses on how institutions affect the performance of national political and economic systems. Much of his work compares the United States with other advanced capitalist countries. Overarching themes in Campbell’s writings include why capitalism needs strong states and cohesive societies to perform well; why nation-states continue to be important in a globalizing world; why some countries recovered from the 2008 financial crisis better than others; how policy ideas are generated in different ways in different countries; and how Donald Trump rose to power and damaged America’s political institutions.



"The World of States " (with John A. Hall) (Bloomsbury Press, forthcoming).

Shows how different types of nation-states affect socioeconomic development around the world. It argues that states that best maintain order, protect the population, and cultivate social solidarity are best suited to facilitate modernization, economic growth, and prosperity for its citizens. It considers the hegemonic U.S. state and whether its hegemony will last; the European Union; the newly emerging economies (e.g., BRICs); and the dysfunctional (e.g., failed) states of Africa. Written for a general non-academic audience.

"The National Origins of Policy Ideas: Knowledge Regimes in the United States, France, Germany, and Denmark " (with Ove Pedersen) (Princeton University Press, 2014).
Presents evidence about how private think tanks, state research agencies, and other policy research organizations generate ideas and disseminate them to policymakers in very different ways in the United States, France, Germany, and Denmark.
"The U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons for Theories of Institutional Complementarity" Socio-Economic Review 9, no. 2 (2011): 211-234.
Shows that the U.S. financial crisis was driven by many factors, including especially a gradual evisceration of state regulatory authority by Republicans and Democrats alike – a neoliberal move toward deregulation in financial and other markets.
"Institutional Competitiveness in the Global Economy: Denmark, the United States and the Varieties of Capitalism" (with Ove Pedersen). Regulation and Governance 1, no. 3 (2007): 230-246.
Shows that national economies with high taxes and government spending can be as economically competitive and successful as those with low taxes and spending.
"Institutional Change and Globalization " (Princeton University Press, 2004).

Presents evidence that globalization has not triggered a “race to the bottom” in tax policy among the advanced capitalist countries.

"Institutional Analysis and the Role of Ideas in Political Economy" Theory and Society 27 (1998): 377-409.
Shows how ideas (intellectual paradigms, rhetorical frames, public values, and programmatic ideas) helped bring neoliberalism and Reaganomics to prominence in the United States.