Faculty Research

Below is a selection of our faculty's recent publications, working papers, and ongoing projects. You can see what else our faculty is up to on their individual Faculty Pages.

"The World of States"

New from Bloomsbury Press (April 2015 USA)

"The World of States"

by John L. Campbell & John A. Hall

Globalization has affected the way that the state is seen by the public and academics. Some say that the state has lost it powers, outflanked from above by economic change and from below by the rise of regional and nationalist movements. More common is the view that states have detrimental effects on the development of economies and societies. This book disagrees. With the increasing realization that countries of the underdeveloped world will never advance without the rule of law, sound state institutions, and strong national identities the tenor of debate is now changing. States are still necessary for human progress. What matters is constructing them along the right lines.

"Young Americans More Saddled with Debt" (The Wall Street Journal)

According to new research by Assistant Professor Jason Houle, more than a third of today’s young Americans (age 24 to 28) have more debt than assets, reports The Wall Street Journal. “That’s roughly double the proportion of their peers in the late 1980s and mid-1970s,” notes the newspaper.

Houle examined how the type of debt carried by young Americans has changed since the 1970s. Houle, as assistant professor of sociology, found that today’s young Americans have less home-related debt, but more education debt than previous generations. “As the transition to adulthood has protracted, and the costs of education have risen, young adults have shifted their credit use away from home mortgage debt and towards student loan and consumer debt,” says Houle.

Read the full story, published 9/9/14 by The Wall Street Journal.

$1.2M NSF Award to Study Privacy in the Context of Wearable Cameras

PI Denise Anthony, along with Co-PIs Apu Kapadia and David Crandall at Indiana University, has received a four-year $1.2M collaborative NSF award to study privacy in the context of wearable cameras. The ubiquity of cameras, both traditional and wearable, will soon create a new era of visual sensing applications, raising significant implications for individuals and society, both beneficial and hazardous. This research couples a sociological understanding of privacy with an investigation of technical mechanisms to address these issues.  Read more about this project.

"The National Origins of Policy Ideas"

New from Princeton University Press  (April 2014)

"The National Origins of Policy Ideas
Knowledge Regimes in the United States, France, Germany, and Denmark"

by John L. Campbell & Ove K. Pedersen


In politics, ideas matter. They provide the foundation for economic policymaking that in turn shapes what is possible in domestic and international politics. Yet until now, little attention has been paid to how these ideas are produced and disseminated, and how this process varies between countries. The National Origins of Policy Ideas provides the first comparative analysis of how “knowledge regimes”—communities of policy research organizations like think tanks, political party foundations, ad hoc commissions and state research offices, and the institutions that govern them—generate ideas and communicate them to policymakers.

"Mental Health, Suicide and the Foreclosure Crisis"

Health Policy workshop on "Mental Health Suicide, and the Foreclosure Crisis"
Assistant Professor Jason Houle

April 3, 2014
1930s Room, Rockefeller Center

In 2007, following decades of increasingly risky borrowing practices, defaults in the sub-prime mortgage market resulted in the worst economic collapse in the U.S. since the Great Depression. The massive scope of the foreclosure crisis, as well as its disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities, raises questions about its potential impact on the mental health and well-being of the U.S. population. In this talk I will present research from ongoing work that examines how rising foreclosure rates are associated with population mental health and suicide rates. I will especially focus on variation in the impact of rising foreclosure rates on mental health and suicide by race, socioeconomic status, and age.

How We Work: Five Years Later (NHPR)

Kristin Smith is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Dartmouth, family demographer at the Carsey Institute and Research Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Her research interests focus on women's labor force participation and work and family policy.  She contributed to three separate NHPR stories as part of their week-long series, "How we work: five years later."

Workers Vote With Feet, Leave Home-Based Childcare
There's a change underway in New Hampshire daycare. Increasingly childcare centers are opening and family, home-based operations are closing, and some believe the changing demands of the workplace are part of what's driving the shift. Kristin spoke to NHPR about the shift in day care decisions...Read the story


Assistant Professor of Sociology Jason Houle says he was surprised by the results of his research on college loan debt among students from low-, middle-, and high-income families, CNBC reports.

His forthcoming study found that lower-middle-income students carry more debt load than students from either of the other economic groups, according to CNBC.

“Subjects whose families earned $40,000 to $59,000 annually racked up approximately $9,200 more student loan debt than their peers whose families earned between $100,000 and $149,000 per year, and approximately $13,0000 more debt than young adults whose families made more than $150,000 annually,” Houle tells CNBC. “Students from families with incomes of $60,000 to $99,000 also carried more debt than those from higher-income families.

“It didn’t surprise me that kids from affluent backgrounds and whites tended to have less,” he adds. “But I would have thought I’d see a straight-up negative association between debt and income, and that wasn’t the case.”

Read the full story, published 12/11/13 by CNBC.