Basak Kus is Associate Professor of Government at Wesleyan University. She received her PhD from UC Berkeley. Prior to joining Wesleyan in 2012, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Yale and Princeton universities, and taught at University College Dublin in Ireland.
Professor Kus teaches and writes about the interplay of the state, capitalism, and democracy. A key question underpins her diverse research projects: How do governments conceptualize and respond to risks in various fields, whether related to the financial sector, climate change, or national security? Her work to date has encompassed themes such as economic crises and liberalization reforms, the restructuring of the welfare state, state-labor union relations, state regulation of the financial sector, and the role of the state in developing the private sector and the informal economy. She has also undertaken research on financialization, debt, and the politics of inequality, using both case studies and quantitative methods.
Professor Kus recently finished a book manuscript examining the evolution of the state-finance relationship from the early 1970s onward, specifically in the context of the U.S. financial crisis and subsequent political developments. This work has been accepted for publication, with a planned release in spring 2024. Currently, she is engaged in several projects that explore the intersections of state, economy, climate change, and law. She recently co-organized a conference on “Greening the Economy: Towards a New Political Economy” held in Berlin.
She would like to write in the following areas:
- American political economy
- SCOTUS and the economy
- Green economic transitions (US in a comparative perspective)
- Debates about limited government, income and wealth distribution, welfare, and regulation of markets
- Risk and protection