Joe Soss

Contact Me

Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Room 261
301 19th Avenue South

Joe Soss is the inaugural Cowles Chair for the Study of Public Service at the University of Minnesota, where he holds faculty positions in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, the Department of Political Science, and the Department of Sociology. His research and teaching explore the interplay of democratic politics, socio-economic inequalities, and public policy. He is particularly interested in the political sources and consequences of policies that govern social marginality and shape life conditions for socially marginal groups. Joe Soss is the author of Unwanted Claims: The Politics of Participation in the U.S. Welfare System (2000), co-editor of Race and the Politics of Welfare Reform (2003), co-editor of Remaking America: Democracy and Public Policy in an Age of Inequality (2007), and author or co-author of numerous scholarly articles. He is currently completing work on a co-authored book to be published by University of Chicago Press, Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race. In 2010, he received the campus-wide Outstanding Faculty Award from the University of Minnesota’s Council of Graduate Students (COGS).

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1996. : .
  • M.A. Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1991. : .
  • B.A. Government, University of Texas-Austin, 1989 : .

Curriculum Vitae


  • welfare reform
  • public service
  • organization and governance of social policy
  • politics of inequality and poverty
  • role of race, class and gender in public affairs
Courses Taught
  • PA 5012: The Politics of Public Affairs
  • POL 8360: Democracy, Inequality, and Public Policy
  • PA 5490 The Politics of Inequality and Social Policy
  • PS 816: Qualitative Methodologies for Political Research (Fall 2005, UW)
  • PS 267: Introduction to Political Psychology (Spring 2007, UW)