Peter Evans

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

About Peter

Evans’s research compares government policies to promote industrial development and improve health and education around the world. Recently, his research has looked at ways of building labor movement organizations that can protect workers in both rich and poor countries in the face of corporate efforts to use global markets to undermine dignity at work, job security and wages sufficient for a decent standard of living. Evans serves on the board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, contributes to the ‘Capacity is Development’ campaign of the United Nations Development Program, advises the “Democratizing Global Economic Governance” project of the Center for the Study of Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia) in Bogota, Colombia, and organizes for the America-North Valley Community Group, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In the News

"A New Challenge for Public Workers," Peter Evans, Santa Fe New Mexican, June 9, 2018.
"Our Delegation Stood Up to Bad Trade Deal," Peter Evans, Santa Fe New Mexican, June 26, 2015.
Peter Evans quoted on the relationship between health giant United Healthcare and Governor Martinez of New Mexico by Joe Monahan, "Misbehavior?" Joe Monahan's New Mexico, March 19, 2015.
"Estado Deve Orientar Investimento Privado em Areas Importantes, Diz Brasilianista," Peter Evans, Interview with Eleonora De Lucena, Folha de S.Paulo, March 9, 2013.


"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.