2018-2019 Dissertation Fellowship Recipient: Samantha E. Sterba

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The Steering Committee of the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) is pleased to announce that the 2018 URPE Dissertation Fellow is Samantha E. Sterba, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Ms. Sterba is awarded this Fellowship and $5,000 (USD) in support of her dissertation “Neoliberal Capitalism and the Evolution of the U.S. Healthcare Sector.” Her dissertation is being supervised by Dr. David M. Kotz (Committee Chair, University of Massachusetts Amherst) and Dr. Peter Spiegler (University of Massachusetts Amherst).

Ms. Sterba’s dissertation uses social structure of accumulation (SSA) theory to analyze the ways in which neoliberal restructuring of US capitalism has affected the evolution of key parts of the US health care system, including the pharmaceutical industry, the health insurance industry, hospitals, and medical care provider institutions. The dissertation also undertakes case studies of three reform efforts: the passage of Medicare/Medicaid in 1965, the failed Clinton Health Security Act of 1993-94, and the passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in 2010. Ms. Sterba’s dissertation systematically connects developments in U.S. health care to the evolution of the institutional structures of U.S. capitalism, and promises to contribute significantly to our understanding of the political economy of health care.

The URPE Steering Committee is pleased to award the 2018 URPE Dissertation Fellowship to Samantha E. Sterba. We also continue to be encouraged by the significant response the fellowship receives from doctoral students. We received many excellent dissertation proposals and regret that we lack the resources to support additional students. We are committed to our fundraising efforts in order to increase our support for doctoral students working in radical political economics. There is significant unmet need, and we ask that members and supporters of URPE assist us in meeting this need through donations, which can be directed specifically to support the dissertation fellowship initiative.