William Rainey Harper Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology and the College, Department Chair
Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1990: The role of social movements and organizational innovation in political change
Dr. Elisabeth S. Clemens is William Rainey Harper Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago as well as a former Master of the Social Sciences Collegiate Division. Her research explores the role of social movements and organizational innovation in political change. Clemens' first book, The People's Lobby: Organizational Innovation and the Rise of Interest Group Politics in the United States, 1890-1925 (Chicago, 1997), received best book awards in both organizational sociology and political sociology. She is also co-editor of Private Action and the Public Good (Yale, 1998), Remaking Modernity: Politics, History and Sociology (Duke, 2005), Politics and Partnerships: Voluntary Associations in America's Past and Present (Chicago, 2010). Her recent awards-winning book, Civic Gifts: Voluntarism and the Making of the American Nation-State (Chicago 2020), traces the tense but powerful entanglements of benevolence and liberalism in American political development.
Office: Social Sciences 323