Academic Profile

People Feature

Pepper Culpepper

Professorial Fellow
Blavatnik Professor of Government and Public Policy

Research Interests: Business and government, comparative political economy, comparative politics, European politics

Pepper Culpepper is the Blavatnik Professor of Government and Public Policy and Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs at the Blavatnik School of Government. His current research, which is funded by an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council, investigates the feedback loops connecting policymaking, public opinion, and media coverage in the advanced economies. He is generally interested in the way in which large companies in finance and technology confront legislative and regulatory challenges, and the sources of evolution of policies governing these companies.

Some of his past work has focused on the politics of financial regulation and corporate governance. Does capitalism dominate democracy, or vice versa? His 2011 book, Quiet Politics and Business Power, was awarded the 2012 Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research. The book examined the mechanisms through which public opinion occasionally triumphs over interest group influence in economic regulation. Politicians across the world respond when issues become salient – that is, when the public cares about these issues and pays attention to what is happening with them.

He has also worked on problems of cooperation in policymaking, and how governments can promote investment in human capital formation. He is the author of Creating Cooperation and co-editor of Changing France (with Peter Hall and Bruno Palier) and of The German Skills Machine (with David Finegold).

Prior to coming to the Blavatnik School of Government and Nuffield College, he taught at the European University Institute and at the Harvard Kennedy School. A former Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford, he has also held long-term visiting appointments in France, Germany, and Japan. He received his PhD. in political science from Harvard University.

Pepper Culpepper



Quiet Politics and Business Power: Corporate Control in Europe and Japan. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Changing France: The Politics that Markets Make. (Edited volume, with Peter A. Hall and Bruno Palier). New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2006. [French translation published as La France en Mutation 1980-2005. Paris: Presses de Sciences-Po, 2006].

Creating Cooperation: How States Develop Human Capital in Europe. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003.

The German Skills Machine:  Sustaining Comparative Advantage in a Global Economy (Edited volume, with David Finegold). New York: Berghahn Books, 1999.

Journal Articles

 “Structural Power and Political Science in the Post-Crisis Era.” Business and Politics 17:3, October 2015, pp. 391-409.

“Structural Power and Bank Bailouts in the United Kingdom and the United States.” With Raphael Reinke. Politics & Society 42:4, December 2014, pp. 427-454.

“The Political Economy of Unmediated Democracy: Italian Austerity under Mario Monti.” West European Politics 37:6, November 2014, pp. 1264-1281.

“Why Don’t Governments Need Trade Unions Anymore? The Death of Social Pacts in Ireland and Italy.” With Aidan Regan. Socio-Economic Review 12:4, October 2014, pp. 723-745.

“The Politics of Common Knowledge: Ideas and Institutional Change in Wage Bargaining.” International Organization 62:1, January 2008, pp. 1-33.

“Do all Bridges Collapse? Possibilities for Democracy in the European Union.” With Archon Fung. Politische Vierteljahresschrift 48:4, December 2007, pp. 730-739.

“Eppure, non si muove: Legal Change, Institutional Stability, and Italian Corporate Governance.” West European Politics 30:4, September 2007, pp. 784-802.

“Les silences de la France en mutation.” With Peter A. Hall and Bruno Palier. Revue Française de Science Politique 57:2, April 2007, pp. 248-250.

“Small States and Skill Specificity: Austria, Switzerland, and Interemployer Cleavages in Coordinated Capitalism.” Comparative Political Studies 40:6, June 2007, pp. 611-637.

“Institutional Change in Contemporary Capitalism: Coordinated Financial Systems since 1990.” World Politics 57:2, January 2005, pp. 173-199.

“Single Country Studies and Comparative Politics.” Italian Politics & Society 60, Spring 2005, pp. 2-5.

 “Puzzling, Powering, and ‘Pacting’: The Informational Logic of Negotiated Reforms.” Journal of European Public Policy 9:5, October 2002, pp. 774-790.

“Associations and Non-Market Coordination in Banking: France and Eastern Germany Compared.” European Journal of Industrial Relations 8:2, 2002, pp. 217-235.

“Can the State Create Cooperation?  Problems of Reforming the Labor Supply in France.” Journal of Public Policy 20:3, 2000, pp. 223-245.

“The Future of the High-Skill Equilibrium in Germany.” Oxford Review of Economic Policy 15:1, 1999, pp. 43-59. [Reprinted in David Coates, ed., Models of Capitalism: Debating Strengths and Weaknesses, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2002.]

“Organizational Competition and the Neo-Corporatist Fallacy in French Agriculture.” West European Politics 16:3, July 1993, pp. 295-315.

Book Chapters

“Business-State Relations in Europe.” Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science. Published February 2017.

"Capitalism, Institutions, and Power in the Study of Business.” In Orfeo Fioretos, Tulia G. Falleti, and Adam Sheingate, eds., Oxford Handbook of Historical Institutionalism, Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 453-466.

“Lobbying and Business Power in Corporate Governance Politics.” In Gisela Hürlimann, André Mach, Anja Rathmann-Lutz, and Janick Marina Schaufelbuehl, eds., Schweizerisches Jahrbuch für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte [Swiss Yearbook of Economic and Social History], volume 31, 2016, pp. 33-45.

“Corporate Control and Managerial Power.” In David Coen, Wyn Grant, and Graham Wilson, eds., Oxford Handbook of Business and Government, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 497-511.

“Institutions and Collective Actors in the Provision of Training:  Historical and Cross-National Comparisons.” With Kathleen Thelen. In Karl Ulrich Mayer and Heike Solga, eds., Skill Formation: Interdisciplinary and Cross-National Perspectives, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 21-49.

“Capitalism, Coordination, and Economic Change: The French Political Economy since 1985.” In Pepper D. Culpepper, Peter A. Hall, and Bruno Palier, eds., Changing France: The Politics that Markets Make.  Palgrave-Macmillan, 2006, pp. 29-49.

“La France sans boussole, au milieu des marchés.” With Bruno Palier and Peter A. Hall. In Pepper D. Culpepper, Peter Hall, and Bruno Palier, eds. La France en Mutation 1975-2005. Presses de Sciences-Po, 2006, pp. 13-36.

“Re-Embedding Public Policy: Decentralized Collaborative Governance in France and Italy.” In C. Joerges, B. Stråth, and P. Wagner, eds., The Economy as a Polity: The Political Constitution of Contemporary Capitalism. London: UCL Press, 2005, pp. 137-57.

“L’Information privée et les politiques publiques en perspective comparative.” In Maïten Bel, Philippe Méhaut and Olivier Mériaux, eds., La décentralisation de la formation professionnelle: Quels changements dans la conduite de l’action publique? Paris: L’Harmattan, 2003, pp. 69-88.

“Employers, Public Policy, and the Politics of Decentralized Cooperation in Germany and France.”  In Peter A. Hall and David Soskice, eds., Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 275-306.

“Still a Model for the Industrialized Countries?” In Pepper D. Culpepper and David Finegold, eds. The German Skills Machine:  Sustaining Comparative Advantage in a Global Economy. New York: Berghahn Books, 1999, pp. 1-34.

“Individual Choice, Collective Action, and the Problem of Training Reform:  Insights from France and eastern Germany.” In Pepper D. Culpepper and David Finegold, eds., The German Skills Machine:  Sustaining Comparative Advantage in a Global Economy. New York: Berghahn Books, 1999, pp. 269-325.