Robert Bates (political scientist)

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Robert Hinrichs Bates (born 1942)[1] is an American political scientist. He is Eaton Professor of the Science of Government in the Departments of Government and African and African American Studies at Harvard University.[2] Since 2000, he has also served as Professeur associe, School of Economics, University of Toulouse.

After graduating from Haverford College in 1964, Bates took his Ph.D. in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has also studied anthropology (at Manchester University and the School of Oriental and African Studies) and economics (at Stanford University) at the graduate level. He joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology in 1969. From 1985 until 1993 he was Luce Professor of Political Economy at Duke University. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991.[1]

Bates’s research focuses on the political economy of development, particularly in Africa. Starting with field work in the mining townships of the Copperbelt (Unions, Parties, and Political Development: A Study of Mineworkers in Zambia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971) he subsequently conducted field work in the Luapula Valley of Zambia (Rural Responses to Industrialization: A Study of Village Zambia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976); the relationship between town and country continues to mark his work. Expanding the scope of his research to include countries in Eastern and Western Africa as well, he addresses the politics of agricultural development and food supply just at the time that dearth and famine increasingly arose on the continent (Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis of Agricultural Policy. Berkeley: University of California Press, Series on Social Choice and Political Economy, 1981). Embraced by major figures on the left and supporters of the gathering “Washington Consensus” on the right, the book exerted major influence in the policy world as well as in academia.

Drawn to Uganda to help restructure its coffee industry after the fall of Idi Amin, Bates witnessed the violence and conflict that increasingly came to mark the politics of Africa. While his research took him to Latin America and the global coffee industry (Open Economy Politics: The Politics and Economics of the International Coffee Market. Princeton University Press, 1997), he soon returned to Africa and turned his focus to the roots of order and conflict in the region (When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2008).

Under the auspices of the Africa Economic Research Consortium, Bates returns to Africa twice yearly to work with researchers there. It was under those auspices – and those of Harvard University – that he contributed to the major two-volume analysis of Africa’s economic performance in the post independence period (Co-author with Benno Ndulu et al. The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960-2000: An Analytic Survey and co-editor with Benno Ndulu el al. The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960-2000: Case Studies, both Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Bates has listed teaching and the training of graduate students as the aspect of his career that he finds most rewarding (Gerardo L. Munck and Richard Snyder. Passion, Craft, and Method in Comparative Politics. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).

Bates has received numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and other sources; been a Carnegie Scholar, an Olin Fellow at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, and Moore Fellow at the California Institute of Technology; and received the Riker Prize from the University of Rochester’s department of political science. He has served as Vice President of the American Political Science Association and President of its Comparative Politics Section and on the editorial board of book series with the California and Cambridge University Press. He has held fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Russell Sage Foundation. A sometime consultant with the World Bank, he is also a member of the Political Instability Task Force.

Books and edited collections by Robert H. Bates[edit]

  • Unions, Parties, and Political Development: A Study of Mineworkers in Zambia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971.
  • Rural Responses to Industrialization: A Study of Village Zambia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976.
  • Agricultural Development in Africa: Issues of Public Policy, co-editor Michael F. Lofchie. New York: Praeger Publishers, Special Studies on International Development, 1980.
  • Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis of Agricultural Policy. Berkeley: University of California Press, Series on Social Choice and Political Economy, 1981. Paperback edition, 1984. Second edition, 2005. Chinese edition, 2001.
  • Essays on the Political Economy of Rural Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. Paperback edition, Berkeley: University of California Press, Series on Social Choice and Political Economy, 1987. Reprinted, Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Toward A Political Economy of Development: A Rational Choice Perspective, editor and co-author. Berkeley: University of California Press, Series in Social Choice and Political Economy, 1988.
  • Special issue of Politics and Society, edited with Margaret Levi, vol 16, nos. 2-3 (June–September 1988).
  • Beyond the Miracle of the Market: The Political Economy of Agrarian Development in Kenya. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Paperback edition, 1992. Second edition, 2005. Chinese edition 2008.
  • Political and Economic Interactions in Economic Policy Reform. Co-authored and co-edited with Anne O. Krueger. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1993.
  • Africa and the Disciplines: The Contribution of African Studies to the Humanities and Social Sciences. Editor with Jean O'Barr and V. S. Mudimbe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
  • Open Economy Politics: The Politics and Economics of the International Coffee Market. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997. One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Books of 1997. Spanish edition 2006.
  • Analytic Narratives, with Avner Greif, Margaret Levi, Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, and Barry Weingast. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999. Chinese edition, 2008.
  • Prosperity and Violence: The Political Economy of Development. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001. Second edition in press.
  • Co-author with Benno Ndulu et al. The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960-2000: An Analytic Survey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • Co-editor with Benno Ndulu et al. The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960-2000: Case Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Harvard-Legon Partnership flourishes". GhanaHomePage. October 14, 2004. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 

External links[edit]