About the Department

Robert Bates

Robert Bates

Eaton Professor of the Science of Government

On Leave Academic Year 2012/2013

Robert H. Bates is Eaton Professor in the Department of Government, a Faculty Fellow of the Institute for International Development, and a member of the Department of African and African-American Studies. He also serves 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 presently serves as a member of the Political Instability Task Force of the United States government and as a consultant at the World Bank.

Email Address


Web Site

Robert Bates Website



Office Locations

1737 Cambridge Street, CGIS Knafel Building 213, Cambridge, MA 02138

Office Hours

Tuesdays, 2-5pm, and By Appointment


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