- PhD, Columbia University<br />MPhil, Oxford University (St. Antony’s College)<br />B.A., The George Washington University
Laura Paler joined the Department of Government as an associate professor in the fall of 2020. She specializes in comparative politics with a focus on the political economy of development. Paler’s research investigates the relationship between revenue (whether from taxes, aid, or natural resources) and development; the drivers of conflict and post-conflict reintegration; and the causes of, and strategies for mitigating, ethnic and other group-based social divisions. Paler primarily conducts large-scale field projects, including randomized control trials and field experiments, and often works in collaboration with local civil society organizations, government agencies, and international development organizations. She has worked in a number of countries, including Indonesia, Colombia, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Lebanon. Paler’s research has been published in journals such as The American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, The Quarterly Journal of Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies. She is a member of the Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP) network and is a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development. Prior to joining AU-SPA, Paler was an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University (2016-2017). She obtained her PhD in political science from Columbia University.
Areas of Expertise
Comparative politics, political economy of development, political behavior, identity politics, causal inference, impact evaluation.
GOVT-130 Comparative Politics
GOVT-231 Politics in Developing World
GOVT-696 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: Ethnic Politics and Conflict