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Michael Albertus

Michael Albertus

Michael Albertus

Political Science
University of Chicago
Fellow, 2019-20 Study #34

Michael Albertus will spend the fellowship year working on a book project on why governments that redistribute property often withhold property rights from beneficiaries, why subsequent governments sometimes extend property rights to those that lack them, and how “property rights gaps” shape economic and social development. Billions of people in the last century alone have spent their lives living and working on property that they receive from a government but that lacks property rights. He will also investigate the related question of how the distribution of property impacts social conflict, drawing on cases from Latin America and Europe. 

Albertus is an associate professor of political science at the University of Chicago. His broader research interests include redistribution, political regime transitions and regime stability, politics under dictatorship, clientelism, and conflict. Albertus’s first book, Autocracy and Redistribution: The Politics of Land Reform (Cambridge University Press, 2015), won the Gregory Luebbert Award for best book in comparative politics and the LASA Bryce Wood Award for best book on Latin America in the social sciences and humanities. His second book, co-authored with Victor Menaldo, Authoritarianism and the Elite Origins of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2018), explores the origins of democracy and the impact that autocratic legacies have on the institutional architecture of democracy as well as its representativeness and distributive implications. He has also recently published in journals such as American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, British Journal of Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies.

For more information, please visit his website: http://www.michaelalbertus.com/