Jason Beckfield is the associate director of HCPDS, and the Robert G. Stone, Jr. Professor of Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. He served as chair of the Sociology Department from 2017 to 2020. Conceptually, Beckfield is interested in how social and political institutions shape structures of inequality, both within and between national societies. He deploys comparative research methods to capitalize on and investigate the significant institutional variation among nation-states. His research has explored 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. He also investigates 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.
Currently, he is investigating the sociology of energy transitions, with a focus on the petrochemical-rich region of the United States Gulf Coast.