Erica Dobbs

Assistant Professor of Politics
With Pomona Since: 2018
  • Expertise


    Erica Dobbs’ teaching and research focus on two spheres: political representation and social protection.

    In her first book Transnational Social Protection: Social Welfare Across National Borders (Oxford University Press 2023), Dobbs and her co-authors Peggy Levitt, Ken Chih-Yan Sun and Ruxandra Paul, explore how people get access to social protection in a world on the move. As an affiliate of the Transnational Studies Initiative at Harvard University, she also co-authored articles on access to health care and other forms of social protection for immigrants.

    Her current book project, Pathways to Participation, explores how and why native political actors create or maintain avenues to political participation for non-citizens in countries where immigration is a relatively new phenomenon. Related papers focus on immigrant political mobilization into electoral politics.

    In addition to the department’s introductory course on comparative politics, Dobbs regularly teaches courses on comparative social policy, European politics, social movements, and democracy.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Migration and Citizenship
    • Western Europe
    • Political Participation
    • Organized Labor
    • Comparative Social Policy
  • Work


    2023. Transnational Social Protection: Social Welfare Across National Borders. New York: Oxford University Press. (with Peggy Levitt, Ken Chih-Yan Sun, and Ruxandra Paul).

    2019. “Social Welfare Grey Zones: How and why sub-national governments provide when nations do not,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (with Peggy Levitt, Sonia Parella and Alisa Petroff).

    2017: “The Missing Link? The Role of Subnational Governance in Global Social Protection,” Oxford Development Journal, 45(1):47-63. (with Peggy Levitt)

    2017: “Bureaucrats and the Ballot Box: State-Led Political Incorporation in Ireland,” in The Politics of New Immigrant Destinations: Transatlantic Perspectives, eds. A. Messina and A. Williamson. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

  • Education


    Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    M.P.P, Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government)

    B.A., Howard University

  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    Exemplary Diversity Scholar citation, National Center for Institutional Diversity, The University of Michigan, 2013

    Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies, 2012-2013

    Summer Study Grant, Center for International Studies, MIT, 2011 & 2009

    European Union Research Grant, Commission for Educational Exchange - Fulbright-Schuman Program (Spain, Ireland, United Kingdom), 2009 - 2010

    MIT Presidential Fellow, 2006-2007