Sanford Schram

Position: Professor

Campus Affiliation: Hunter College/CUNY Graduate Center

Phone: 610-772-5108


Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. – State University of New York at Albany

Research/Interests: American Politics, Political Behavior, Political Economy, Public Policy, Social Welfare Policy, Social Theory, Contemporary Political Theory, Power and Democracy, Neoliberalism, Globalization, Welfare Reform, Welfare Politics, Politics of Criminalization, Public Policy Advocacy, Class, Race and Gender, Social Science Research Methods, Political Research Methods, Administration and Management of Public Agencies.

Sanford Francis Schram is a Professor of Political Science at Hunter College where he also teaches public policy in Roosevelt House. Schram holds appointments in both Sociology and Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center.  Schram is author of six books and co-author of another three, as well as co-editor or editor of seven others. He is the only person to have twice received the American Political Science Association’s Michael Harrington award for his books Words of Welfare and Disciplining the Poor. In 2012, he received the Charles McCoy Career Achievement Award from the American Political Science Association.

Schram received his Bachelor of Arts with a major in Government in 1971 from St. Lawrence University, which awarded him a distinguished alumnus award in 2008. He received his M.A. and his Ph.D. in Political Science in 1973 and 1979 respectively, from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University of Albany, State University of New York, which also awarded him a distinguished alumnus award in 1988.

While completing his Ph.D., Schram became an instructor at Nasson College in Springvale, Maine. In 1978, he became a faculty member of the State University of New York College at Potsdam, where he taught till 1989. At SUNY-Potsdam, he was the Chairperson of the Department of Political Science from 1985 to 1989. In 1989, he joined the faculty of Macalester College, ending his appointment at Potsdam and becoming an associate professor at Macalester in 1991. After leaving Macalester in 1995, he taught political science and social work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for two years and also served as the Director of the Public Policy Center at the School of Social Work. From 1997 until 2013, Schram was a visiting professor teaching social theory and policy in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College. He also taught undergraduate courses in political science and sociology at Bryn Mawr and occasionally Haverford College. While at Bryn Mawr he served as the Co-director of the Center on Ethnicities, Communities and Social Policy. In 2013, Schram became a professor of political science at Hunter College (CUNY) and was subsequently appointed in Sociology and Political Science at the Graduate Center.

Schram has lectured and made public presentations at many universities around the world including the University of Vienna, Providence College, Yale University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, University of Chicago, University of Nebraska, Columbia University, University of Michigan, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, University of Strasbourg, University of Aarhus, Johannes Kepler University, Queensland University of Technology, Hebrew University, Haifa University and elsewhere. In the summer of 2013 he taught undergraduate and graduate courses on public-private partnerships at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark; and in the spring semester 2014 he was visiting fellow at the US Study Centre, University of Sydney, in Australia.




Hard White: The Mainstreaming of Racism in American Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).


Rethinking Neoliberalism: Resisting the Disciplinary Regime (New York: Routledge, 2017).


Neoliberalizing the University: Implications for Democracy (New York: Routledge, 2016).


The Return of Ordinary Capitalism: Neoliberalism, Precarity, Occupy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015).


Becoming a Footnote: An Activist-Scholar Finds His Voice, Learns to Write, and Survives Academia (Albany: SUNY Press, 2013).


Real Social Science (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012).


Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2011).


Change Research: A Case Study on Collaborative Methods for Social Workers and Advocates (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011).


Making Political Science Matter: Debating Knowledge, Research and Method (New York: New York University Press) 2006).


Welfare Discipline: Discourse, Governance, and Globalization (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006).


Race and the Politics of Welfare Reform, Sanford F. Schram, Joe Soss and Richard Fording, eds. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003).


Praxis for the Poor: Piven and Cloward and the Future of Social Science in Social Welfare (New York: New York University Press, 2002).


After Welfare: The Culture of Postindustrial Social Policy (New York: New York University Press, 2000).


Welfare Reform: A Race to the Bottom? (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999) (edited with Samuel H. Beer)


Tales of the State: Narrative in U.S. Politics and Public Policy (Lanham MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1997) (edited with Philip T. Neisser)


Words of Welfare: The Poverty of Social Science and the Social Science of Poverty (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995) (Michael Harrington Award)

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