Editor in Chief

Jeffery A. Jenkins

I am Provost Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and Law, Judith & John Bedrosian Chair of Governance and the Public Enterprise, Director of the Bedrosian Center, and Director of the Political Institutions and Political Economy (PIPE) Collaborative.

I am the founding editor of the Journal of Political Institutions and Political Economy (JPIPE) and the Journal of Historical Political Economy (JHPE). I was the Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Politics for six years (2015-2020).

My research interests include American Political Institutions and Development (with a special emphasis on Congress and political parties), lawmaking, separation-of-powers, and political economy. Much of my work takes a positive political theory (or rational choice) approach, and examines how political actors pursue their interests while being constrained by formal and informal institutional arrangements. I am the author of over 50 journal articles and several books, including Fighting for the Speakership (with Charles Stewart III) and Republican Party Politics in the American South, 1865-1968 (with Boris Heersink).


Volha Charnysh

I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I study political attitudes and behavior in culturally diverse societies using micro-level historical data. I am particularly interested in the legacies of displacement, repression, and genocide. My regional focus is Europe and Eurasia. I am currently working on a book about the enduring political and economic consequences of one of the largest episodes of forced migration in history: post-WWII population transfers in Central and Eastern Europe. My work has been published or is forthcoming at the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, British Journal of Political Science, and European Journal of International Relations. I received a PhD in Government from Harvard University in 2017.

Alexandra Cirone

I am an Assistant Professor and Himan Brown Faculty Fellow in the Government department at Cornell University. I am also a Faculty Fellow of the new Institute of Politics and Global Affairs in NYC.

My research interests center on historical political economy, democratization and party systems in new democracies, multi-level governance, public policy, and European politics. I combine quantitative methods, historical data, and natural and/or quasi-experimental research designs with extensive archival research.

At Cornell, I teach Post-Truth Politics, an undergraduate class on fake news; as well as Game Theory I, and a course on natural experiments for graduate students.

I organize the Historical Political Economy Working Group, and I’m also part of the research project “Bureaucrats and Group Identity in Local Politics,” at the Center for Economic Research (NTNU), Norway. My work has also received generous funding from Society for the Humanities, the Institute for Social Sciences, and the Einaudi Center for European Studies.

Tracy K. Dennison​

I am a Professor of Social Science History at the California Institute of Technology. I am interested in understanding how societies worked in the past: how did societal rules and norms affect the decisions people made about their lives? 

My research to date has focused on this question at the micro level, considering the ways in which pre-modern institutions such as states, landlords, communities, and households influenced the economic, social, and demographic behavior of ordinary people in everyday life. I have studied the role of landlords’ policies and practices in imperial Russia, and the way that the quasi-formal legal systems established by some wealthy landlords that made it possible for their serfs to conduct property and credit transactions despite their ambiguous legal status. I explored this subject in my 2011 book, The Institutional Framework of Russian Serfdom (Cambridge University Press), wherein I argue that these micro-level practices had important implications for the longer term economic development of Russia.

In my current project, I investigate these questions from a top-down perspective rather than the bottom-up approach taken previously. Comparing the abolition of serfdom in Prussia and Russia, this research explores larger questions of political economy and state capacity and their implications for institutions and institutional change. How did the institutional structure of serfdom in central Europe differ from that in Russia and how did these differences affect the process and outcomes of reform in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? 

The question of institutions – what they are and how they function – is central to my research. Beyond questions about the impact of specific institutions on local behaviors, I am interested in the way that institutions fit together in any given society to form a larger institutional system, the workings of which are often hidden from the view of observers. 

James Feigenbaum

I am an Assistant Professor in the Boston University Department of Economics. I am also a Faculty Research Fellow at the NBER in the Development of the American Economy program.

I specialize in labor economics and economic history. My research interests include inequality, intergenerational mobility, health and mortality, and labor markets in the 19th and early 20th century US, spanning cities during the Age of Mass Migration and the epidemiological transition to the postbellum South.

Vicky Fouka​

I am an Assistant professor of Political Science at Stanford University. My main research focus is group identity and ingroup-outgroup relations. I study the conditions under which outgroup members are accepted as part of the ingroup and the determinants of ingroup views towards outgroups. Major applications of my research include immigrant assimilation, the determinants of native prejudice against immigrants, the long-run effects of intergroup conflict and the interaction between ethnicity and race. I do primarily empirical work in various historical and geographic contexts, with a main focus on early 20th century US and contemporary Western Europe.

Scott Gehlbach

I am a Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. I identify as a political economist and comparativist. Much of my research is motivated by the contemporary and historical experience of Russia, Ukraine, and other postcommunist states. In recent years, my work has substantially focused on the politics of authoritarian regimes. Of particular relevance to this blog, I have worked with several outstanding economists and political scientists to examine reform and rebellion in late Imperial Russia. A recent paper in this project was awarded the Michael Wallerstein Award for best article in political economy. I have also recently published a short book with Evgeny Finkel on Reform and Rebellion in Weak States that is empirically situated in Imperial Russia, and elsewhere. At Chicago, I am co-organizer (with Stephen Pincus in History) of the History and Politics Workshop, and I am the founder and co-organizer of the annual Summer Workshop in the Economic History and Historical Political Economy of Russia. You can find more at my personal website

Trevon Logan

I am the the Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Department of Economics at The Ohio State University. I am also a a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an affiliate of the Initiative in Population Research, the Center for Human Resource Research, the Food Innovation Center, and the Criminal Justice Research Center at Ohio State. I currently serve on the editorial boards of Explorations in Economic History, Historical Methods and Demographic Research.

I specialize in economic history, economic demography and applied microeconomics. My research concerns the development of living standards measures that can be used to directly asses the question of how the human condition has changed over time. I apply the techniques of contemporary living standard measurements to the past as a means of deriving consistent estimates of well-being over time. Most of my work uses historical household surveys, but also includes some new data to look at topics such as the returns to education in the early twentieth century, the formation of tastes, and the allocation of resources within the household. I am currently extending my historical research agenda to include topics such as childhood health, mortality, morbidity, and racial disparities in health.

My economic demography research agenda is diverse. In one project, I examine the phenomena of dowries in South Asia to see if the purpose of dowry has changed over time. Another project investigates the economic, social and health implications of male sex work. This work looks at the value of information in this illegal market, uses econometric techniques to quantitatively test sociological theories of gender and masculinity, estimates the values of behaviors in the market, and looks at the role of public health in causing decreases in disease transmission among these men.

One project that falls outside of these two larger areas of research is my work on sports, sports betting markets, and college football polls. I have looked at bias in the betting market, deriving stronger tests for the use of the betting market as a prediction market, and testing for behavioral biases in college football poll rankings.

Sara Lowes

I am an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego. I graduated from Harvard University in May 2017 with a Ph.D. from the Political Economy and Government program. I am a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar with the Institutions, Organizations & Growth research program, and an Affiliate of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). My research interests are at the intersection of development economics, political economy, and economic history. Many of my on-going projects are in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Jared Rubin

I am a Professor in the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University. I am an economic historian interested in the political and religious economies of the Middle East and Western Europe. His research focuses on historical relationships between political and religious institutions and their role in economic development. 

My book, Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not (Cambridge University Press, 2017) explores the role that Islam and Christianity played in the long-run “reversal of fortunes” between the economies of the Middle East and Western Europe. It was awarded the Douglass North Best Book Award for the best research in institutional and organizational economics published during the previous two years, awarded by the Society of Institutional and Organizational Economics. Rubin’s work has appeared in journals such as Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economics & Statistics, Economic Journal, Management Science and many others. I am the Co-Director of Chapman University’s Institute for the Study of Religion, Economics and Society (IRES) and the President of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture (ASREC). I serve on the editorial boards of Journal of Economic History, Journal of Comparative Economics, Explorations in Economic History and Essays in Economic and Business History

Emily A. Sellars

I am an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Yale University, where I am affiliated with the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, the Leitner Program in Political Economy, and the Institution for Social and Policy Studies. My research interests are at the intersection of comparative political economy, development economics, and economic history. I am particularly interested in the politics of emigration and in the historical political economy in Mexico and Central America. My work has been published or is forthcoming in the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Development Economics, the Journal of Urban Economics, and the Journal of Political Institutions and Political Economy. I received my Ph.D. jointly in Political Science and Agricultural and Applied Economics from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Adam Slez

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Virginia.  My research interests lie at the intersection of historical and political sociology, spanning a range of topics including the relationship between politics and markets, state-building and the formation of the political field, and the spatial organization of political cleavage structures.  I explore these themes at length in The Making of the Populist Movement, which examines the origins of electoral Populism in the American West during the late nineteenth century.  My previous work on state and party formation in the United States Constitutional Convention of 1787 has appeared in the American Sociological Review.

Pavithra Suryanarayan

I am an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). I received a PhD in political science from Columbia University in October 2016 and my dissertation won the the Mancur Olson Award for the best dissertation in political economy at the American Political Science Association in 2018. I specialize in comparative political economy with a focus on identity, redistribution, and state development in India. My work combines quantitative analysis, including spatial and survey methods, with extensive archival research. My papers have been published or are forthcoming at the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Politics, Party Politics, and World Politics. I teach classes on Indian Politics and Comparative Politics. I am currently working on a book manuscript on Social Status and Redistributive Politics.

Yuhua Wang

I am the Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor of Government at Harvard University. My research has focused on the politics of state building, with a regional focus on China. I am the author of Tying the Autocrat’s Hands: The Rise of the Rule of Law in China (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and The Rise and Fall of Imperial China: The Social Origins of State Development (Princeton University Press, 2022). I received my B.A. from Peking University and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.