Peter Evans

Peter Evans

Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley; Senior Fellow in International Studies, Watson Institute, Brown University, University of California-Berkeley
Senior Fellow in International Studies, Watson Institute, Brown University
Chapter Member: New Mexico SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Peter

Evans is best known for his work on the political economy of national development as exemplified by his 1995 book Embedded Autonomy: States and Industrial Transformation. His recent work has focused on globalization and transnational social movements, especially the global labor movement and, most recently, on the rise of reactionary nationalist regimes.

In the News

Opinion: "A New Challenge for Public Workers," Peter Evans, Santa Fe New Mexican, June 9, 2018.
Opinion: "Our Delegation Stood Up to Bad Trade Deal," Peter Evans, Santa Fe New Mexican, June 26, 2015.
Quoted by Joe Monahan in "Misbehavior?," Joe Monahan's New Mexico, March 19, 2015.


"The Neoliberal Era: Ideology, Policy, and Social Effects" (with William H. Sewell and Jr.), in Social Resilience in the Neo-Liberal Era, edited by Peter Hall and Michele Lamont (Successful Societies Program, CIFAR, 2012).
The late 20th century reinvention of the classic liberalism of John Locke and Adam Smith retained their belief in the importance of democracy and markets but ignored their distrust of concentrated corporate power and emphasis on the importance of solid public institutions. Countries like the United States that adopted neoliberalism most completely did less well in the late 20th century than countries that adopted it selectively.
"The Capability Enhancing Developmental State: Concepts and National Trajectories," paper presented at a conference organized by the Korea International Cooperation Agency in cooperation with the UN Research Institute on Social Development, Seoul, Korea, September 30, 2011.
Some countries like Korea and Brazil have managed continued improvements in social indicators following initial periods of economic growth. Others, like China, have seen their rates of social progress slow despite continued rapid economic growth. Variations may be attributable to different connections among political parties, governments and civil society.
"The Challenge of 21st Century Development: Building Capability Enhancing States," working paper for the United National Development Program 2010 ‘Capacity is Development’ Global Event, UNDP, Marrakech, Morocco, February 28, 2010.
Economic growth and improved social outcomes depend on the capability of governments to support the economic efforts of their citizens and provide ordinary people with the collective goods they need to make their individual efforts effective.
"Population Health and Development: An Institutional-Cultural Approach to Capability Expansion" in Successful Societies: How Institutions and Culture Affect Health, edited by Peter A. Hall and Michèle Lamont (Cambridge University Press, 2009), 104-127.
Comparative analysis shows that socio-political factors are strongly related to improvements in life expectancy. Civil liberties to make governments responsive are a foundation, and access to education and reductions in inequality are powerful next steps.
"Is an Alternative Globalization Possible?" Politics & Society 36, no. 2 (2008): 271-305.
The globalization of markets and rise of undemocratic governance institutions like the World Trade Organization are often seen as threatening, but globalization has also created possibilities for labor and other social movements to build transnational alliances with clout.