John Bowman

Position: Professor
Campus Affiliation: Queens College
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. University of Chicago
Research Interests: political economy of advanced industrial economies, labor politics, welfare states

John Bowman’s principal area of research is comparative political economy, with a focus on advanced industrial societies. In 1996 he was a guest researcher at the Institute for Social Research in Oslo, Norway. He returned to Norway in 2014 as a professor in the University of Oslo’s Summer School in Comparative Social Analysis. His current research concerns the politics of labor markets and social policy in Europe and the US.

He is the author of Capitalisms Compared: Work, Welfare, and Business(Sage/CQ Press, 2014) and Capitalist Collective Action: Competition, Cooperation, and Conflict in the Coal Industry (Cambridge University Press 1989, paperback edition 2006); as well as articles in several journals, including Politics & Society, Comparative Political Studies, and (with Alyson Cole) Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.

Professor Bowman is a member of the Editorial Board of Politics & Societyand has also served on the Editorial Committee of the journal Comparative Politics.

Books

capitalismscomparedJohn Bowman, Capitalisms Compared: Work, Welfare, and Business(Sage/CQ Press, 2014)

How different would Americans’ lives be if they had guaranteed access to health care, generous public pensions, paid family leave, high-quality public pre-school care, increased rights at work, and a greater say in how corporations are run?

This one-of-a-kind book emphasizes that differences in policies and institutions affect the lives of citizens by comparing health, pension, and family policies, as well as labor markets and corporate governance in the United States, Sweden, and Germany. Demonstrating that the US model of capitalism is not the only one that is viable, Bowman encourages students not only to rethink their assumptions about what policy alternatives are feasible, but also to learn more about American capitalism through insightful contrast. Covering a wide range of policy areas and written in a crisp, engaging style, Capitalisms Compared is a perfect companion for courses in political economy and public policy.

John Bowman, Capitalist Collective Action (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989).

This unique volume presents a theory of capitalist collective action and a case study of the pre-World War II American coal industry to which the theory is applied. The author examines the irony of capitalist firms that do not want to compete with each other, but often cannot avoid doing so. He then explains under what conditions businesses would be able to organize their competition and identifies the economic and political factors that facilitate or inhibit this organization. The case study not only illustrates the theory, but demonstrates how the competitive relations of capitalist firms are critically important determinants of their political behavior.

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