Erik Wibbels

Erik Wibbels

Robert O. Keohane Professor

External address: 
204J Gross Hall, 140 Science Drive, Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708-0204
(919) 660-4322


A Professor of Political Science, Wibbels' research focuses on development, decentralized governance, and other areas of political economy. He is the co-general editor of the Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics series. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the International Growth Centre and AidData, and he has published articles in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, International Organization, Comparative Political Studies and elsewhere. Current major projects include the combination of surveys and satellite images to identify slums in India and understand the conditions under which residents achieve formal recognition and successfully attract public services; an impact evaluation of a large, district-level USAID program in Ghana; and work on how the geographic emergence and spread of state authority impact long-term economic development. He also works with bilateral and multilaterial donors to improve the design and evaluation of governance programming. Wibbels previously taught at the University of Washington and the Juan March Institute and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of New Mexico 2000

  • M.A., University of New Mexico 1996

  • B.A., University of Virginia 1993

Roberts, Kenneth M., and Erik Wibbels. “Party Systems and Electoral Volatility in Latin America: A Test of Economic, Institutional, and Structural Explanations.” American Political Science Review 93, no. 03 (September 1999): 575–90.

Krishna, Anirudh, Emily Rains, and Erik Wibbels. “Negotiating Informality– Ambiguity, Intermediation, and a Patchwork of Outcomes in Slums of Bengaluru.” The Journal of Development Studies, n.d., 1–17. Full Text