Elisabeth Anderson

Associate Professor of Sociology Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: PhD Northwestern University (2013)

Research Areas: Political Sociology, Comparative-historical Sociology, Social Theory

Elisabeth Anderson is a comparative-historical and political sociologist of the welfare state and social policy, with a particular interest in theorizing how individual agents drive institutional change. Her work advances the scholarly understanding of the political origins of regulatory welfare: consumer credit protections, child labor laws, and factory inspection systems. It uses historical case studies grounded in archival and primary sources to argue that many of these institutions owe their existence to the efforts of middle-class reformers. 

Anderson's book, Agents of Reform: Child Labor and the Origins of the Welfare State, was published by Princeton University Press in 2021. Her articles have appeared in the American Sociological Review, Theory and Society, Social Science History, and the Journal of Classical Sociology, among other outlets. 

Anderson's work has been honored by the American Sociological Association (ASA), including the Comparative-Historical Sociology Section's Charles Tilly Best Article Award (2013) and the Political Sociology Section's Distinguished Article Award (2019). Her book, Agents of Reform, won the Political Sociology Section's Distinguished Book Award (2022) as well as an honorable mention for the Allan Sharlin Memorial Book Award from the Social Science History Association (2022).

Courses Taught