Zsófia Barta is a political economist and an associate professor in the Department of Political Science. Her research and teaching interests are in comparative and international political economy and public policy. Dr. Barta's main research area is the politics of public debt, covering diverse aspects of public finances from societal conflicts surrounding austerity to the influence of the markets for government debt on policy choice. Her first book, In The Red: The Politics of Public Debt Accumulation in Developed Countries (University of Michigan Press, 2018) explored the variation in countries' ability to control their debt. The book received honorable mentions for the APSA’s European Politics and Society Section Best Book Award, the ISA’s International Political Economy Annual Best Book Award, and the SASE Alice Amsden Book Award — listen to a Rhodes Center podcast discussing the book. Dr. Barta’s current research focuses on sovereign credit rating agencies, particularly on the influence they exercise over politics and policy choice in developed democracies. She published the first results of this project in a series of journal articles in the Review of International Political Economy, Comparative Political Studies, the Journal of Public Policy and the Journal of European Integration among others. Dr. Barta is currently working on a book manuscript synthetizing the results of this research project as the German Kennedy Memorial Fellow at the Minda De Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University.
Dr. Barta holds a Ph.D. in European political economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an M.A. in international economics from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University and an M.Sc. in finance from the Budapest University of Economics. Prior to taking up her current position at the University at Albany, she held a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence.