European University Institute Department of Social and Political Sciences



assistant: Monika Rzemieniecka


mailing address: 9 Via della Badia dei Roccettini, 50014 Fiesole FI, Italy

Office location: Badia Fiesolana BF263


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Welcome to my website. I am the Peter Mair Chair of Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Sciences at the European University Institute. Prior to moving to the EUI, I taught for many years at the University of California at Los Angeles.


I was educated at the University of California at Berkeley, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Cornell University.  My research is in the area of political economy. I have conducted field research on issues of corruption and political malfeasance in Europe, Asia, and Africa.  My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the International Growth Centre, the Governments of Quebec and Canada, J-PAL, and the U.K.'s Department for International Development, among others.


With economist Raymond Fisman, my most recent book is Corruption: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2017). With Eugenia Nazrullaeva, I am currently engaged in a large-scale cross-national and historical study of how and when politicians secure reelection. A first publication out of this project is forthcoming in the Elements in the Political Economy series published by Cambridge University Press. My current field-based research concerns political responsiveness in Pakistan, on which I have an on-going collaboration with Saad Gulzar. Finally, with Alex Scacco of the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, I co-chair the COVID-19 Model Challenges project. 

Annually, I teach two graduate seminars at the EUI. Foundations of Development provides an introduction to topics and questions about politics in the world's developing nations, particularly in Africa and South Asia, and compares the trajectory of the global south to the history of advanced nations. The Practicum in Reproducible Research Methods walks students through all the steps involved in a complex collaborative reproducible research project and provides instruction in the skills required to successfully execute modern social scientific research. 

I am a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. I have been a Visiting Senior Scholar at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University and a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. I am an affiliate of the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) of the University of California at Berkeley, a Research Fellow in Political Economy at the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP), and an active member of Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP). I am an invited researcher to J-PAL's Governance Initiative.  Long a proponent of research transparency and replicability, I am a BITSS Catalyst with the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences and have assembled multiple data sets that are available in the public domain on Dataverse.

A recent interview is available at Scientia Futura.