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Benjamin Bradlow

Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Affairs
328 Wallace Hall
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Benjamin H. Bradlow is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Affairs at Princeton University, jointly appointed in the School of Public and International Affairs and Department of Sociology. He is also associate faculty at Princeton's High Meadows Environmental Institute. Before arriving at Princeton, he was a lecturer and postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Bradlow's research makes connections between climate change, urbanization, industrial change, and the political challenges for democracy that confront societies across the globe. 

His first book, Urban Power: Democracy and Inequality in São Paulo and Johannesburg, is forthcoming in 2024 with Princeton University Press (Princeton Studies in Global and Comparative Sociology). Bradlow compares the divergent politics of distributing urban public goods — housing, sanitation, and transportation — in two mega-cities after transitions to democracy: São Paulo, Brazil, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

He is currently researching a new comparative book project that examines industrial transitions from carbon in the Global South. This work explores how middle-income countries with export-oriented, internal combustion engine automobile manufacturing sectors are navigating a rich world transition to electric vehicles.

Research articles have been published in leading journals in sociology, economics, urban and environmental studies. This work has been funded by peer-reviewed grants from the National Science Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright Program, the Climate Social Science Network, and the Brazilian Studies Association. Publications from these projects have received awards from the American Sociological Association’s sections on Collective Behavior & Social MovementsComparative Historical Sociology, and Sociology of Development, and the Latin American Studies Association's Brazil Section.

Bradlow is a public scholar and he regularly writes essays for public-facing outlets including Foreign Affairs, Boston Review, Bloomberg’s CityLab, the Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage, and Africa Is A Country. His research has gained the interest of international news media such as the Financial Times and The Guardian.

Prior to his academic life, Bradlow worked as a South Africa-based researcher and organizer with Shack/Slum Dwellers International, a network of housing movements across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and as a journalist in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Philadelphia, USA. He received a PhD in Sociology from Brown University, a Masters in City Planning from MIT, and a BA in History (with high honors) from Swarthmore College.