Bogdan G. Popescu

me_magdalene_cropI am a Departmental Lecturer at the University of Oxford in the Department of Politics and International Relations. Previously, I was a postdoctoral researcher at Bocconi and Princeton. I received my PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago.

I study comparative politics and historical political economy using novel data from historical sources. My book project – Imperial Borderlands: Institutions and Legacies of the Habsburg Military Frontier (invited to revise at Cambridge University Press) draws on political science, economics and history to examine key questions related to state formation, extractive institutions, and the modern-day impact of colonial legacies. I argue that the effect of extractive institutions depends on the removal of property rights, use of violence, and investment in local infrastructure. To illustrate such effects, I focus on military colonialism in the Habsburg Empire, a state that governed over vast territories of Central and Eastern Europe. I show that military colonialism, as an example of an extractive institution displaying low historical state investment in infrastructure, high transformation of local society, and low coercion, contributed extensively to low provision of public goods today.

My research was published in the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and Comparative Political Studies. My other projects examine how states adopt institutions in order to ensure their survival and the consequences of their actions.