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Max Kagan

PhD Student in Political Science
Personal Statement

Max Kagan is a Ph.D. student in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on political economy. Max’s research focuses on the ways in which corporations influence and are influenced by political and social processes. Specifically, he explores when and why corporations choose to take public stances on controversial political and social issues, especially when such stances are not directly related to their business. In addition to understanding the drivers of corporate decision-making in these contexts, Max is also interested in understanding public attitudes towards corporate political actions more broadly, as well as the adoption of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards in investing and corporate governance.

Max's research is supported by the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Prior to his graduate studies, Max worked for several years as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm, where he was based in Dubai and New York and served clients in industries including banking, government, private equity, and telecommunications. Max also worked as an early-stage private equity investor for a New York-based firm focused on investments in business services and financial technology. He also worked for the Good Jobs Institute (GJI), a Cambridge, Massachusetts non-profit that partners with companies in retail, elder care, and other service industries to create good jobs that enrich the lives of workers while also working towards improving business operations.

Max holds a B.A. summa cum laude with highest honors in Political Science from Middlebury College in Vermont. He speaks Arabic and Turkish.

Primary Subfield
American Politics
Secondary Subfield
American Politics
Methodology & Formal Theory