Erik Wibbels

Erik Wibbels

Robert O. Keohane Professor

External Address: 
204J Gross Hall, 140 Science Drive, Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708-0204
(919) 660-4322
Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Economy, Political Institutions, Security, Peace, Conflict

A Professor of Political Science, Wibbels' research focuses on development, decentralized governance, and other areas of political economy. He is the co-general editor of the Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics series. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the International Growth Centre and AidData, and he has published articles in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, International Organization, Comparative Political Studies and elsewhere. Current major projects include the combination of surveys and satellite images to identify slums in India and understand the conditions under which residents achieve formal recognition and successfully attract public services; an impact evaluation of a large, district-level USAID program in Ghana; and work on how the geographic emergence and spread of state authority impact long-term economic development. He also works with bilateral and multilaterial donors to improve the design and evaluation of governance programming. Wibbels previously taught at the University of Washington and the Juan March Institute and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.


  • Ph.D., University of New Mexico 2000
  • M.A., University of New Mexico 1996
  • B.A., University of Virginia 1993

Wibbels, E., and K. Roberts. “The Politics of Economic Crisis in Latin America.” Studies in Comparative International Development, vol. 45, no. 4, Dec. 2010, pp. 383–409. Scopus, doi:10.1007/s12116-010-9072-x. Full Text

Rodden, J., and E. Wibbels. “Fiscal decentralization and the business cycle: An empirical study of seven federations.” Economics and Politics, vol. 22, no. 1, Mar. 2010, pp. 37–67. Scopus, doi:10.1111/j.1468-0343.2009.00350.x. Full Text

Wibbels, E. “Cores, peripheries, and contemporary political economy.” Studies in Comparative International Development, vol. 44, no. 4, July 2009, pp. 441–49. Scopus, doi:10.1007/s12116-009-9044-1. Full Text

Goldberg, E., et al. “Lessons from strange cases: Democracy, development, and the resource curse in the U.S. States.” Comparative Political Studies, vol. 41, no. 4–5, Apr. 2008, pp. 477–514. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0010414007313123. Full Text

Caporaso, J. A., et al. “Fortieth anniversary issue.” Comparative Political Studies, vol. 41, no. 4–5, Apr. 2008, pp. 405–11. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0010414007313252. Full Text

Wibbels, E. “No method to the comparative politics madness.” Comparative Political Studies, vol. 40, no. 1, Jan. 2007, pp. 39–44. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0010414006294817. Full Text

Bakke, K. M., and E. Wibbels. “Diversity, disparity, and civil conflict in federal states.” World Politics, vol. 59, no. 1, Oct. 2006, pp. 1–50. Scopus, doi:10.1353/wp.2007.0013. Full Text

Wibbels, E. “Madison in Baghdad? Decentralization and federalism in comparative politics.” Annual Review of Political Science, vol. 9, July 2006, pp. 165–88. Scopus, doi:10.1146/annurev.polisci.9.062404.170504. Full Text

Wibbels, E. “Dependency revisited: International markets, business cycles, and social spending in the developing world.” International Organization, vol. 60, no. 2, Apr. 2006, pp. 433–68. Scopus, doi:10.1017/S0020818306060139. Full Text

Wibbels, E., and K. Bakke. “Regional Inequality, Ethnic Diversity, and Conflict in Federal States.” World Politics, vol. October, 2006, pp. 1–50.