Thomas Janoski (1978)

Professor of Sociology, University of Kentucky

I received my Ph.D. in sociology of Berkeley in 1986 working with Harold Wilensky, the late Reinhard Bendix, Neil Smelser, Claude Fischer and Michael Wiseman (economics). I was a post-doctoral fellow at Michigan State University, served on the faculty of Duke University for nine years, and have been at the University of Kentucky for the last fifteen years. 

My work is at the intersection of work and politics with what I call a left or optimistic Weberian approach to political economy. My dissertation was published as The Political Economy of Unemployment: Active Labor market Policy in West Germany and the United States (1990, University of California Press). It won the "Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship" award of the political sociology section of the ASA. Other books include Citizenship and Civil Society: A Framework of Rights and Obligations in Liberal, Traditional, and Social Democratic Regimes (1998, Cambridge University Press), and The Comparative Political Economy of the Welfare State (co-edited 1994 with Alexander Hicks and also published by Cambridge).  

Since moving to the University of Kentucky, I have continued my interest in political sociology and work.  I co-edited  "A Handbook of Political Sociology" (Cambridge, 2005) with Alexander Hicks, Mildred Schwartz and our fellow Berkeley colleague Robert Alford (who passed away during the project and to whom the handbook is dedicated).  My NSF project "Strangers into Citizens: A Comparative/Historical Analysis of Naturalization Processes in 18 Countries," has finally reached the press stage with The Ironies of Citizenship:  Naturalization and Integration in Industrialized Countries (August 2010, Cambridge).  

I am currently working on an NSF projects comparing lean production and teamwork at six automobile factories (three Japanese transplants and three American companies).  A book is in press with Darina Lepadatu called Diversity at Kaizen Motors, and I am working on a project called the "Vortex of Work: Integrating Globalization, Lean production, and the Web."  I have also published a number of articles on the processes of volunteering that integrates social network analysis with opinion leaders and Jeffrey Alexander's theory of civil society (Comparative Social Research 2009, Journal of Civil Society 2010).  The intent is to bring activism and everyday volunteering into one theory.

While our cohort was at Berkeley in the late 1970s and mid-1980s, the sociology department was in a transition from the faculty who had built its excellent reputation over the years to its present reincarnation. During our cohort's time at Berkeley, we saw many retirements and a few hires. We had many good times from WOASH (Women against sexual harassment) demonstrations to parties at the old church near the Albany BART station. And we had many battles. Having traveled around the world for two years, going through military service, and working in numerous factories, Berkeley was a unique and special experience. 

Dissertation Title
The Political Economy of Unemployment: Active Labor Market Policy in West Germany and the United States
Dissertation Book Title
The political economy of unemployment : active labor market policy in West Germany and the United States