Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Bates, Robert H.
Location Harvard University
Primary Field Social and Political Sciences
Secondary Field Economic Sciences
 Election Citation
Bates, a leading comparative political economist, has made seminal contributions to the political economy of development, the study of agriculture and international commodity markets, and the study of violence. He is one of the most prominent Africanists in political science, and a contributor to the methodology of analytical narratives.
 Research Interests
In the developing world, agriculture constitutes the largest single industry and most families support themselves by farming. Realizing that, Bates trained in agricultural economics (at Stanford University) and anthropology (at the University of Manchester) as well as in political science, the field in which he received his doctorate. He focuses on the political roots of agricultural policies and the on the impact of those policies on both the welfare of rural dwellers and the growth of national economies. More recently, Bates has focused on the sources of political violence in Africa and on the reasons for the failure of African states. In his investigation of these subjects, Bates has long favored the collection of data through field research. In addition, he employes formal models to clarify his thinking and statistical methods to test his ideas.

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