Miriam Golden

  • Professor of Political Science
  • University of California - Los Angeles



Miriam Golden is Professor of Political Science at UCLA. During the 2014-15 academic year, while a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, she will be in residence at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Affairs at Stanford University. While at Stanford, she will be writing a book analyzing the partisan bases of bad government in rich and poor democracies. The project draws on more than a decade of empirical research into political corruption, political violence, and election fraud in Italy, Ghana, and India. The main question animating the study is how bad government flourishes under competitive electoral conditions even when voters have regular opportunities to eject from public office officials who betray the public trust. Golden's teaching is in the area of comparative politics. At the undergraduate level, she annually offers PS167D, "Political Institutions and Economic Development," an upper-division course that instructs students in the use of multivariate statistics to analyze data using Stata. At the graduate level, Golden teaches seminars on distributive politics and on inequality, while also regularly participating in the three-person faculty team that teaches the two-quarter introductory seminar to comparative politics. Professor Golden was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University for the 2011-2012 academic year and is an affiliate of the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) of the University of California at Berkeley and a member of Experiments in Governance and Politics (EGAP). In 2014, she also holds Associate Member status at Nuffield College, Oxford. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the International Growth Centre, the Governments of Quebec and Canada, and the U.K.'s Department for International Development. Drawing on prior work on electoral cycles to electricty provision in India, Professor Golden is also starting a major research project into the political structure of rural patronage in South Asia, with a particular interest in how control over water may facilitate vote buying.