Nina Bandelj

Nina Bandelj (she/her) is Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Sociology, associate vice provost for faculty development, and co-director of Center for Organizational Research at the University of California, Irvine. An economic sociologist, Bandelj is interested in how relational work, culture, power, and emotions influence investment, spending, debt, inequality, and ideas about the economy. Growing up in Yugoslavia and coming of age as Eastern Europe transformed rapidly after the fall of the Berlin Wall inspires Bandelj to connect individuals’ emotions, beliefs and struggles with systemic transformations of communism, capitalism, and the global economy. 

Bandelj has published numerous articles and book chapters, including in the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Theory and Society, and Socio-Economic Review. Her books include From Communists to Foreign Capitalists: The Social Foundations of Foreign Direct Investment in Postsocialist Europe (Princeton University Press, 2008), Economy and State: A Sociological Perspective (Polity Press, 2010, with Elizabeth Sowers), Economic Sociology of Work (Emerald Publishing, 2009), The Cultural Wealth of Nations (Stanford University Press, 2011, with Frederick F. Wherry), Socialism Vanquished, Socialism Challenged: Eastern Europe and China, 1989-2009 (Oxford University Press, 2012, with Dorothy Solinger), and Money Talks: Explaining How Money Really Works (Princeton University Press, 2017, with Frederick F. Wherry and Viviana Zelizer). Her research has been funded by the American National Science Foundation, American Council for Learned Societies, and Slovenian National Research Agency, among others.

Bandelj, who received her Ph.D. from Princeton University, is past Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, and the European University Institute in Florence. She is an honorary member of the Sociological Research Association, and a recipient of the Distinguished Mid-Career Award for Service, the Dynamic Womxn Award for Academic Achievement, and the Carol Connor Equity Advisor Impact Award from the University of California, Irvine. She was awarded a life-time title of Professor at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

In addition to her scholarship, Bandelj has a deep commitment to service and inclusive excellence. She has served as equity advisor and acting associate dean for research and graduate affairs in the School of Social Sciences, and as facilitator in Women’s Initiative supported by the University of California, Office of the President. In her role as inaugural associate vice provost for faculty development, she designs and oversees programs, and consults on policies in support of faculty advancement, well-being, and equity. Bandelj is finishing her term as one of the editors of Socio-Economic Review and was previously Treasurer of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. She was Vice President of the American Sociological Association for 2021-22.

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