Scholars of state capacity and ethnic politics rarely talk to each other. Yet ethnic identity plays an important role in the development of state institutions, as highlighted in a number of recent posts. In a brand-new World Politics article, I contribute to the scholarship on the relationship between ethnic identity and state building by highlighting … Continue reading Identity and State Capacity: Religious Discrimination in Late-imperial Russia
Is immigration a good thing? Should it be restricted? Does it harm sending economies? As immigration continues to rise, public opinion is divided on these questions. Historical political economy can be deeply informative for understanding and anticipating the consequences of migration: for the receiving societies, sending societies, as well as migrants themselves. In this post, … Continue reading What history can teach us about migration
What are the most prominent themes in HPE research? I consider the substantive focus of approximately 200 articles published in top political science journals in the last ten years, collected for a joint review project with Eugene Finkel and Scott Gehlbach.  For additional information, check out my September post for the selection criteria and … Continue reading The Trajectory of a Booming Field: A Look Back at a Decade of HPE research (Part II).
Historical political economy (HPE) is a vibrant research field that traverses traditional disciplinary boundaries. In the past ten years, the number of articles in this tradition in top political science journals has more than doubled. In this post, I discuss some patterns and tendencies in the HPE articles in top political science journals that Eugene … Continue reading The Trajectory of a Booming Field: A Look Back at a Decade of HPE Research
People have long suspected that climate shapes attitudes and behavior. In The Spirit of the Laws (1748), French philosopher Baron de Montesquieu claimed that cold air increases blood flow to the heart. He expected this increased circulation to “produce various effects; for instance, a greater boldness, that is, more courage; a greater sense of superiority, … Continue reading Does Climate Influence Culture? A Historical Perspective
Anthropogenic climate change is the defining challenge of this century. Understanding how societies respond to it can help us anticipate and mitigate its consequences. Most academic literature to date has focused on the short-term effects of weather shocks and natural disasters (see review by Vally Koubi). This approach has generated important insights, but does not … Continue reading HPE of Climate Change: The Little Ice Age in Europe
“Stop the steal!” The 2020 US election illustrated that concerns about electoral fraud – real or imagined – can impact even the world’s oldest democracies. The Trump campaign exhausted all legal avenues to contest the vote count in six states. The campaign lost virtually all its legal challenges, but the myth of a stolen election … Continue reading Degrees of Freedom: Electoral Manipulation in Imperial Germany
Research in historical political economy has demonstrated that cultural norms and values often outlive the events, institutions, and policies that generated them. The very definition of culture emphasizes persistence and intergenerational transmission (see this related post by Jared Rubin). Socialization by parents, peers, and opinion leaders is one of the key mechanisms invoked in studies … Continue reading What Explains Cultural Transmission across Generations?
“Your name and possibly your date of birth were recorded, and suddenly you became someone – a refugee with an identity card “A”, and you could apply for a certain level of support. Registering here in Friedland was the chance to start a new life, a real life in peace.” This is how Annelie Keil, … Continue reading A look back at the forgotten refugee crisis in Europe
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important it is for states to have information about the societies they govern. In a scramble to contain a public health crisis, governments across the world – from the United States to India – are influencing how often we wash our hands and how many friends we meet. Public … Continue reading Count me if you can: Religious minorities and legibility in Imperial Russia