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Faculty Fellow

Gary Herrigel

Paul Klapper Professor in the College and the Division of the Social Sciences University of Chicago


Photo by Erielle Bakkum

Gary Herrigel has been working on issues related to democracy and economic governance for many years. He has written two books examining historical efforts to construct democratic arrangements in markets in the U.S., Germany, and Japan. The interest in both books was in the relationship between industrial production and political governance generally, and, more particularly, in the political and social arrangements required to ensure the capacity of small propertied producers to remain competitive while sustaining high-paying and high-quality forms of work and employment. He has also written extensively on multinationals and the governance of transnational supply chains. Most recently, he has written on inclusive, self-optimizing, governance arrangements in automobile multinationals and in agricultural supply chains (cocoa). In both cases, efforts are made to incorporate direct producing line workers and farmers in the governance of their own labor. At present, he is examining the relationship between democracy and economic governance in the context of the industrialization of agriculture since the nineteenth century in developed political economies.

Featured Project

Economic Planning and Democratic Politics: History, Theory, and Practice

2023 – 2026


Sustainable Agriculture as Relational Learning Process

Sustainable Agriculture as Relational Learning Process

This project asked: How do those who pursue sustainability strategies understand sustainability and give it meaning, and what accounts for variation and difference across sectors and societies?

What does “sustainability” mean in the context of agriculture? Ask an executive at a large-scale dairy producer, and you will get one answer. Ask the organic cheesemonger at your local farmer’s market, and you will likely get another. Both responses have a point. But then what accounts for the...

Project Team:

Working Group on Comparative Economics

Working Group on Comparative Economics

This group convened to discuss the comparative economic and historical analysis of societies, identifying ways that economic tools and analysis can advance historical research on the ancient world.

Emerging around a coalescence of research interests in the comparative economic analysis of historical societies from ancient times to the modern period, the Working Group on Comparative Economics brought together faculty from Classics, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, Anthropology,...