I’m currently completing a three-paper dissertation.  Each paper grew out of one of those little questions that initially sat at the back of my mind, and then got steadily bigger until I simply had to write about it.  One is about why the DR Congo and Indonesia (and also Uganda, for reasons of theoretical balance) had fairly similar political and economic institutions in the early 1960s, but have such divergent development outcomes today.  One is about critically assessing the idea that there is some type of unspecified but strong “regional effect” which make it difficult to compare and learn from countries in different regions.  And one is about how knowledge cumulates in the social sciences — that is, how we can generalize across regional and methodological boundaries.  I’ll share these papers once they’re ready.

Working Papers

  • “Elite Cohesion and Institutional Development in Weak States” (dissertation paper #1)
  • “What Do We Learn from Cross-Regional Comparisons?” (dissertation paper #2)
  • “Generalizability in the Social Sciences” (dissertation paper #3)
  • “How American Scholars can Support Their African Colleagues”

Commentary