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I'm a member of the political economy group at the Stanford GSB, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law in the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Affairs.  My research focuses upon understanding the effectiveness of organizations and innovations that societies have developed to address the problems of violence and political risk in the past and to develop new lessons for contemporary policy.

In 2020-21, I'm on leave as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences.

Primary Research Fields

 comparative politics, development economics, economic history, political economy

Research Themes

 I am currently working on four related streams of research. These research themes include:

  1. Swords into Bank Shares: Financial Solutions to the Threat of Political Violence
  2. "Unfinished Business": Harnessing International Trade for Inter-Ethnic Peace
  3. Reform, Reconciliation and Revolution in the Aftermath of War (with Steven Wilkinson)
  4. Gandhi's Gift : On the Promise and Limitations of Non-Violent Civil Disobedience (with Rikhil Bhavnani)

Much of my work focuses on and is motivated by issues related to the Political Economy of South Asia, though my current work also includes comparative studies of a number of other key settings undergoing political reform and development.  

Here are links to my articles and working papers , to my business cases related to political reform and non-market strategy, and to Op-Eds and pieces for the popular press.  

I was delighted to be voted the Teacher of the Year by the Stanford GSB Sloan/ MSx class of 2020.  With Julia Cage, Anna Dagorret and Pauline Grosjean, our work on Heroes (new version coming soon) was also awarded the 2020 Oliver Williamson best paper award from the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics.  

I am happy to be affiliated as a professor, by courtesy, of the Stanford Departments of Economics and of Political Science, and as a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.  Within Stanford, I am also excited about convening a new Conflict and Polarization Initiative within the Stanford  King Center on Global Development. I appreciate the opportunity to serve as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Development Economicsthe Journal of Comparative Economics. and of the Political Economy section of the new inter-disciplinary journal, Global Perspectives.  You may also find me at the Center for Social InnovationCenter for Latin American Studies and the Center for South Asia, and, beyond Stanford, at AALIMS, CEGA and J-PAL