Associate Professor of Government, Wesleyan University

Editor, Socio-Economic Review

State and Society; Political Economy (American and Comparative); Law and Politics; Public Policy; Research Methods

Basak Kus is an Associate Professor of Government at Wesleyan University. She earned her PhD in Sociology from UC Berkeley in 2008. Before joining Wesleyan in 2012, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Yale and Princeton universities, and taught political economy and public policy at University College Dublin in Ireland.

Professor Kus teaches and writes about the interplay between the state, capitalism, and democracy, with a specific focus on the United States. A central question drives her diverse research interests: How do governments (the US government, in particular) conceptualize and respond to crises and risks across different fields, whether it is the financial sector, climate change, or national security? Her work to date has delved into themes such as economic crises and liberalization reforms, the restructuring of the welfare state, state-labor union relations, regulation of the financial sector, financialization, debt, and the politics of inequality. She recently finished a book manuscript examining the evolution of the state-finance relationship from the early 1970s onward, specifically in the context of the US financial crisis and subsequent political developments: Disembedded: Regulation, Crisis, and Democracy in the Age of Finance (in press, Oxford University Press).

Currently, she is engaged in several projects that explore the intersections of state, economy, and climate change. She recently co-organized an international conference on “Greening the Economy: Towards a New Political Economy in Berlin (featured here), and is co-editing a special issue on the topic in the journal Regulation & Governance

Professor Kus currently serves as one of the editors of the Socio-Economic Review. She has been awarded a Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship from the Max Planck Institute in Cologne for 2024.