Chris Zoeller, sociology graduate student, has received a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Award. Zoeller’s dissertation examines the end of the Bretton Woods era of the global economy, when the United States removed the link between U.S. dollars and gold, ending the world’s system of stable exchange rates. In part, he asks what interests motivated the decision to end Bretton Woods in 1971, as well as how the decision affected the role of the International Monetary Fund.

Zoeller notes that while political scientists and economists who have studied the event largely believe it to have been an inevitable response to economic pressures, his research provides an alternative, sociological approach using information gathered from the Nixon Tapes and documents from the Presidential Libraries and the National Archives at College Park, Maryland.

Zoeller will receive $11,958 with a project period from March 15, 2018 to February 28, 2019. He will utilize the award funds to gather additional evidence to support his preliminary findings. He believes this research will “help the broader public understand better why “economic crisis” is blamed to push controversial political action.” Zoeller’s faculty mentor is Nina Bandelj, sociology.


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