Victor Menaldo

Victor Menaldo (Ph.D., Stanford University, 2009) is a Professor of Political Science at UW and is affiliated with the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences (CSSS), Near and Middle Eastern Studies, and the Center for Environmental Politics.


He specializes in comparative politics and political economy.


He has published articles in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Annual Review of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, World Politics, Comparative Politics, International Studies Quarterly, Economics & Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Policy Sciences, Business & Politics, among other places.


His first book, “The Institutions Curse,” is published by Cambridge University Press (2016). Menaldo’s second book, “Authoritarianism and the Elite Origins of Democracy” (with Mike Albertus), is also with Cambridge University Press (2018).


Menaldo is interested in the political economy of property rights, innovation, and development.


He is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled: “The Twilight of the Third Industrial Revolution and the Dawn of the Fourth”


Blog Posts

The Integrity of Higher Education is Key to Making Democracy Work

What would evidence-based policy look like if we took it seriously?

Thoughts about Liberal Democracy on America’s Birthday

The Perils of Economic Populism

A Tale of TikTok and Tariffs – US Technology Policy Towards China

Center Left Capitalism as the Key to Prosperity

Ronald Coase’s Inimitable Contributions to Evidence-Based Policy

Working Papers

Do Patents Foster International Technology Transfer? Evidence from Spanish Steelmaking, 1850-1930.

Understanding the Oil Industry Through the Prism of the Three Sources of Rents (with Will Gochberg).

The Perils of Economic Populism (with Beatrice Magistro).

Of TikTok and Tariffs: a historical and analytical perspective on Technology Transfer to China (with Nicolas Wittstock)


Is Our Cancel Culture Killing Free Speech?

Liberalism and the Threats it Faces

Here’s Why Tech Platforms Might Need Regulation, But not Breaking Up

Democratic Socialism Depends on Robust Capitalism

Why are so Many Democracies Breaking Down?

Aftermath of Revolution

Afghanistan and the Resource Curse