Blog

Indigenous Agency Under Colonization

Western colonialism was a major transformational force in human history. Of the existing countries, around 80% were former European colonies, comprising two thirds of the global population today. It is well recognized that colonial rule imposed enormous challenges to the native populations who suffered extraction of their lands, destruction of their cultures, and physical abuses. … Continue reading Indigenous Agency Under Colonization

A Bit More about Theory in Historical Political Economy

As Volha mentioned in her post on Monday, she, Eugene Finkel, and I are working on something—a review of the field of historical political economy for an audience of political scientists. As part of that process, I have been thinking about the role of theory in HPE. Sean Gailmard’s recent guest post is a useful … Continue reading A Bit More about Theory in Historical Political Economy

The Trajectory of a Booming Field: A Look Back at a Decade of HPE Research

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

How States Create Ethnic Cleavages

Voting Day

Prominent theories of ethnic politics expect the initiatives of political entrepreneurs to determine whether an ethnic identity—religious, tribal, regional, linguistic, or racial—becomes an element of party competition. According to these theories, entrepreneurs strategically construct ethnic-based coalitions of voters, organize around ethnic identities in response to electoral rules or institutional change, or use pre-existing organizations to … Continue reading How States Create Ethnic Cleavages

When State Building Backfires

Engraving by Francisco Mora. In José María Morelos, el Siervo de la Nación, 1957, Sociedad de Amigos del Libro Mexicano.

By Francisco Garfias and Emily Sellars This month, the Mexican government is celebrating its 200th anniversary of independence from Spain. The nation’s independence was won after a protracted conflict sparked by an event celebrated across the country every year on this date (September 15th): Miguel Hidalgo’s Cry of Dolores in 1810. Hidalgo’s uprising heralded the … Continue reading When State Building Backfires

A Short Political-Economic History of Property Rights in the American West

In the early 19th century, the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and Mexican Cession (1848) doubled the United States land mass, changing it politically and culturally. The image of the cowboy, the homesteader, and westward expansion has shaped much of American popular culture ever since (Ficken and Hausladen, 2003). These new lands also brought forward one of … Continue reading A Short Political-Economic History of Property Rights in the American West

Religion and Political Economy in History (Part II)

It has been nearly four months since my last new column, which I titled “Religion and Political Economy in History (Part I).” That title suggested there would at minimum be a part II. But we here at Broadstreet thought we should take a well-deserved break over the summer, so part II has been slow in … Continue reading Religion and Political Economy in History (Part II)

Union Contributions to the Historic Shift in Workplace Governance

At the same time that union density in the United States has declined (Figure A) and labor law has “ossified” and “drifted”, employment law has flourished (Figure B), proliferating at the state level and expanding into new substantive domains (Source: Galvin 2019). For the vast majority of 21st century workers, what workplace rights and protections … Continue reading Union Contributions to the Historic Shift in Workplace Governance

Slavery, Technology and the Social Origins of the US Agricultural State

The early months of 1862 saw the US Congress busy devising war plans. Soldiers were recruited on an unprecedented scale. An entirely new currency funded immediate military spending. Enslaved people flocking to Union lines demanded some kind of policy response. In the middle of all this, Congress somehow found time to create the U.S. Department … Continue reading Slavery, Technology and the Social Origins of the US Agricultural State