Dr. Jason Beckfield is professor of sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. He was appointed the Center’s associate director in the summer of 2016. He holds a PhD in sociology from Indiana University-Bloomington. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 2006, Beckfield was assistant professor in the department of sociology at the University of Chicago. He recently served as the chair of Harvard University’s Department of Sociology.
Professor Beckfield’s areas of specialty include the comparative political economy of population health, regional integration, globalization, stratification, and economic sociology. Conceptually, he is interested in how social and political institutions shape structures of inequality, both within and between national societies. Methodologically, he deploys comparative research methods to capitalize on and investigate the significant institutional variation among nation-states. His current research is focused on the impact of European integration on economic inequality and the welfare state, the evolution of the network structure of international organizations, and the social determinants of health inequalities. In particular, he is investigating how institutional arrangements (welfare programs, educational expansion, labor markets, and citizenship rights) stratify health, and help to explain why societies have such different population health profiles.