W. Rand Smith

Irvin L. and Fern D. Young Presidential
Professor of Politics, Emeritus


Comparative Politics:  Western Europe, Latin America
Comparative Political Economy of Advanced Industrial States
U.S. Energy and Environmental Policy

Research Interests

Current book project: “New Golden Era: The Fall and Rise of the American Acoustic Guitar, 1960-present”

Political impact of the euro crisis in Southern Europe 

Socialist-Communist party relations in France, Italy, and Spain

American roots music:  protest songs, blues, early country and bluegrass, seminal figures:  Woody Guthrie, Bill Monroe, Robert Johnson, Bob Dylan 


PhD The University of Michigan
MA The University of Michigan
BA The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Courses Taught

Introduction to Politics, Politics of Western Europe and the European Union, Politics of Latin America, The Vietnam War, U.S. Energy and Environmental Policy, Roots Music in American Society, U.S-Latin American Relations, The U.S.-Mexico Border, Public Policy and the Environment


Enemy Brothers:  Socialists and Communists in France, Italy, and Spain (Lanham, MD:  Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012; updated paperback edition 2015).  Selected as Choice Magazine “Outstanding Academic Title.”

The Left’s Dirty Job:  The Politics of Industrial Restructuring in France and Spain (Pittsburgh, PA:  University of Pittsburgh Press; Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1998).

Crisis in the French Labor Movement:  A Grassroots Perspective (London:  Macmillan Press and New York:  St. Martin’s Press, 1987).


“The Contentious Path of the Italian Left, 1920-2012,” in R.T. Chasson and T.J. Sienkewicz, eds.  The Power of Place:  A Festschrift for Janet Goodhue Smith (Chicago:  Associated Colleges of the MIdwest, 2012), 174-183.

“Field Lessons: The Whys and Hows of Interview-based Fieldwork.”  French Politics.  8 (March 2010), 101-108.

“Unemployment and the Left Coalition in France and Spain,” South European Society and Politics, 4:3 (Winter 1999), 111-133.  Also appears in Nancy G. Bermeo (ed.), Unemployment in Southern Europe: Coping with the Consequences (Essex, UK: Frank Cass Publishers, 2000).

“Labor, Power, and the State in France:  Lessons of Industrial Restructuring,” in H. Chapman, et al. (eds.).  A Century of Organized Labor in France:  A Union Movement of the Twenty-First Century? (New York:  St. Martin’s Press, 1998), 189-204.

“The Left’s Response to Industrial Crisis:  Restructuring in the Steel and Automobile Industries,” in A. Daley (ed.), The Mitterrand Era:  Policy Alternatives and Political Mobilization in France. New York: New York University Press, 1996, 97-113.

“Industrial Crisis and the Left: Adjustment Strategies in Socialist France and Spain,” Comparative Politics, 28:1 (October 1995), 1-24.

“Felipe González,” entry in D. Wilsford (ed.), Political Leaders of Contemporary Western Europe (Westport, CT:  Greenwood Press, 1995), pp. 176-182.

“Nationalization for What? Capitalist Power and Public Enterprise in Mitterrand’s France,” Politics & Society, 18:1 (March 1990), 75-99.

“‘We Can Make the Ariane, But We Can’t Make Washing Machines:  The State and Industrial Performance in Postwar France,” in G. Ross and J. Howarth (eds.), Contemporary France (London:  Frances Pinter, 1989), 175-202.

“Towards Autogestion in Socialist France? The Impact of Industrial Relations Reform,” West European Politics, 10:1 (January 1987), 46-62.

“Dynamics of Plural Unionism in France:  The CGT, CFDT, and Industrial Conflict,” British Journal of Industrial Relations, 22:1 (March 1984), 15-33.

“Paradoxes of Plural Unionism:  CGT-CFDT Relations in France,” West European Politics, 4:1 (January 1981), 38-53.

“Attitudes Toward Workers Control in France:  Evidence From a Sample of Trade Union Members,” Sociological Review, 25:4 (November 1977), 877-885.

“The Movement for Self-Management in France:  The Case of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT),” in Gary L. Olson (ed.), The Other Europe (Brunswick, OH:  King’s Court Press, 1977). Also published as Discussion Paper, Center for Western European Studies, The University of Michigan, 1976.


“The Left in Power:  How Does it Govern?  What Are the Consequences?”  Latin American Politics and Society.  56:2 (Summer 2014), 163-172.

“Privatization in Latin America:  How Did It Work and What Difference Did It Make?”, Latin American Politics and Society, 44:4 (Winter 2002), 153-166.

“A State of Bias:  Review Essay on the French State,” French Politics and Society, 11:4 (Fall 1993), 117-125.

“International Economy and State Strategies:  Recent Work in Comparative Political Economy,” Comparative Politics, 25:3 (April 1993), 351-372.

Plus ça change? Elections and Electoral Behavior in France, 1978-86. A Review Essay,” French Politics and Society, 5:3 (June 1987), 40-44.

“Is There a ‘Crisis’ in the French Labor Movement? A Review Essay,” French Politics and Society, 5 (March 1984), 24-29.

Invited Talks

“Who Wins and Who Loses in Privatization?  The Spanish Case in Comparative Perspective,” Center for European Studies, Harvard University, 2005.

 “Still Allies After All These Years? The United States, Western Europe, and the Future of U.S.-E.U. Relations,” Lunch Series on Contemporary Europe, Northwestern University, 2000.

“Unions, Left Governments, and Industrial Restructuring:  France and Spain in Comparative Perspective,” invited conference on “Trade Unionism in the Context of Regionalization and Globalization,” Marne-la-Vallée, France, 1998.

“Industrial Politics:  France and Spain in Comparative Perspective,” Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, 1997.

“State, Labor, and Corporatism in France:  Lessons of Industrial Restructuring,” invited conference on “A Century of Organized Labor in France:  A Union Movement for the Twenty-First Century,” Columbia University and New York University, 1996.

“Labor and the Socialists: Industrial Restructuring in France and Spain,” invited workshop on “Coalitions Under Stress:  Governing Labor-Based Parties in a Liberalizing World,” Department of Political Science, University of California at Berkeley, 1996.

“Dilemmas of Industrial Change in France and Spain,” Department of Political Science, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, 1995.

“Industrial Change and Left Governments:  The Politics of Adjustment in Socialist France and Spain,” XVI World Congress, International Political Science Association, Berlin, 1994.

“Gouvernements socialistes et crise industrielle:  une comparaison des politiques de restructuration en France et en Espagne,” Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Grenoble, 1994.

“Política de reconversión industrial en Francia y España,” Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de Málaga, Spain, 1994.

“Spain’s Democratic Transition:  Toward A New Political Culture,” Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University, 1992.

“The Left and Industrial Crisis: Restructuring in the Steel and Automobile Industries,” conference on “Labor and the Left in France:  A Decade of Mitterrand,” Wesleyan University, 1992.

“Socialism and Industrial Adjustment: State Responses to Economic Crisis in France and Spain,” Annual Meeting of American Political Science Association, Washington, DC, 1991.

“Why Do Socialists Make Such Good Modernizers? Industrial Crisis and State Strategy in France and Spain,” XV World Congress, International Political Science Association, Buenos Aires, 1991.


Redwood Landing Reunion:  A Celebration of Music and Friendship,” Lake Forest College Spectrum, Winter 2002.

“Remembering a Good Man:  Steve Goodman 30 Years Later,” Lake Forest College Spectrum, Spring 2001.

“The Left in the 1995 French Presidential Elections:  From Humiliation to Moral Victory,” Modern and Contemporary France, NS4:2 (1996), 217-219.

“Energy Transition Will Change the Coal Industry,” In These Times, 4:30 (July 16-29, 1980).

“Split in the Ranks:  The French Socialist Party Congress, 1977,” Paris Metro (July, 1977).

Awards and Honors

Research fellowship (left politics in Italy), Associated Colleges of the Midwest (FaCE Project/Mellon Foundation), 2008

Research fellowship (French and Spanish industrial policy), German Marshall Fund of the United States, 1993-94

Research fellowship (French and Spanish industrial policy), Fulbright European Regional Research Program, 1993-94

Research grant (Spanish industrial policy) , American Political Science Association, 1991

Research fellowship alternate, Fulbright Western European Regional Research Program, 1987

Dunn Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarly Promise, Lake Forest College, 1983 (awarded annually to a junior faculty member by a senior faculty committee)

Fulbright Lectureship, Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Grenoble, 1981-82

National Science Foundation Local Course Improvement Grant (for computer applications to classroom instruction), 1979-80

Research award (French labor movement), American Philosophical Society, 1977

Fulbright Lectureship, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, Paris,1976-77

Levenhulme Fellowship, University of Aston, Birmingham, England, 1974 (declined)

Graduate fellowships: National Science Foundation; Ford Foundation; NDEA Title IV; The University of Michigan, 1969-74