Religious Elites and the Political Economy of Development

A growingly body of scholarship has examined the impact of religious beliefs and institutions on economic development. Several influential studies have probed the impact of religion on human capital through a focus on the role of Protestantism in Europe, Catholicism in France, and Christian missionaries in former colonies. This expanding literature on religion and development … Continue reading Religious Elites and the Political Economy of Development

Tilly Goes to Church: The Medieval and Religious Origins of the European State

How did the state arise in Europe? The canonical answer is Charles Tilly’s: “war made the state and the state made war.” The starting point is the fragmentation of territorial political authority in Europe after the collapse of the Carolingian empire in 888, and the ambitions of rulers in the early modern (1500-1700) era. To … Continue reading Tilly Goes to Church: The Medieval and Religious Origins of the European State

Religion and Political Economy in History (Part I)

When I was young, I was told that there were two topics you should never bring up in polite society: religion and politics. The advice clearly did not rub off. I have spent a good portion of my career studying the two. It seems obvious to even a casual observer that religion has played an … Continue reading Religion and Political Economy in History (Part I)