Robert Bates

  • Eaton Professor in the Science of Government
  • Harvard University



Robert H. Bates is Eaton Professor in the Department of Government, and a member of the Department of African and African-American Studies. He has also served as Professeur associe, Department of Economics, University of Toulouse. After rising to Full Professor at the California Institute of Technology, he became the Henry R. Luce Professor of Political Science and Economics at Duke University, where he also directed its Center for Political Economy. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he received his B. A. from Haverford in 1964 and his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1969. He is the author of numerous books, including Markets and States in Tropical Africa (1981), Beyond the Miracles of the Market (1989), Open Economy Politics (1997), Analytic Narratives (1998), Prosperity and Violence (2002) and When Things Fell Apart (2008). He is also co-author and co-editor of the 2 volume study of the Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960-2000 (2008). Bates has undertaken extensive fieldwork in Colombia, Brazil and several nations in Africa. Among his fields of interest are political economy, political development, political violence, and African politics. He has served as President of the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, Vice President of the Association and a member of the board of the African Studies Association. He also serves as an active member of the African Economic Research Consortium. He has served as a member of the Political Instability Task Force of the United States government, with USIAD, and as a consultant with the World Bank.