Hewlett Grant Funds New History & Political Economy Project

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Assistant Professor of Sociology Christy Thornton has received a grant of $111,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Economy and Society Program for a new scholarly initiative, the History & Political Economy Project. With administrative support from the Arrighi Center for Global Studies and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, the new project will be led by Dr. Thornton and Dr. Quinn Slobodian, the Marion Butler MacLean Associate Professor of the History of Ideas at Wellesley College.

The History & Political Economy Project will bring together a network of historically minded scholars whose research examines how neoliberalism has been developed, implemented, and contested around the world. With the goal of producing historical scholarship that is strategically useful for addressing the challenges of social-political transformation in the present, we seek to use the tools of historical inquiry to counter rising inequality, economic dislocation, and political alienation. HPE therefore supports new research, fosters connections among scholars working in different temporal and geographic contexts, and draws lessons for contemporary efforts to challenge the hegemony of neoliberal ideas and modes of governance.

The project is guided by an advisory board of historians and social scientists with expertise in the historical development and implementation of neoliberal policies around the world. HPE will bring the advisory board together for a preliminary workshop at Johns Hopkins in Spring 2022, and will undertake range of other programmatic activities, including funding graduate and early career research grants, supporting the translation of important works originally published in languages other than English, and supporting open-access publishing for existing and new research. In addition, HPE sponsors a one-year graduate fellowship for an advanced PhD student at Johns Hopkins working on topics related to the project. This year’s graduate fellow is Conrad Jacober, PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology.

More information about the History & Political Economy project, including information on advisory board members and planned activities, can be found at https://www.hpeproject.org/.