May 4, 2017
NOTE: This event has been cancelled.
Synthesizing the body of economics research on the functioning of political markets, the World Bank’s policy research report Making Politics Work for Development: Harnessing Transparency and Citizen Engagement distills numerous implications for policy and future research. It shows how political engagement—the processes through which citizens select and sanction the leaders who wield power in government—is fundamental to understanding and solving government failures to pursue good public policies. The confluence of political engagement with transparency can be a driving force for countries to transition toward better-functioning public sector institutions, starting from their own initial and contextual conditions. But good outcomes are far from guaranteed, with many risks of unhealthy political engagement by citizens and repressive responses by leaders. To harness the potential of these forces, the report offers ideas for policy actors to target transparency to improve citizens’ abilities to hold leaders accountable for the public goods needed for development.
Stuti Khemani, Senior Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank Group
Stuti Khemani is a senior economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank. She joined through the Young Professionals Program after obtaining a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her area of research is the political economy of public policy choices, and institutional reforms for development. Her work is published in leading economics and political science journals, such as the American Economic Journal, Journal of Development Economics, and American Political Science Review. She has studied the impact of electoral politics on fiscal policy and intergovernmental fiscal relations; drawn policy implications for the design of institutions to promote fiscal responsibility; and analyzed political constraints to efficient allocation of resources for health and education services. She is currently examining the role of mass media and local elections in building effective public sector institutions. She is also the lead author of the forthcoming policy research report Making Politics Work for Development: Harnessing Transparency and Citizen Engagement. Her research and advisory work spans a diverse range of countries, including Benin, China, India, the Philippines, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Melani Cammett, Professor of Government, Harvard University
Melani Cammett is a professor of government at Harvard University. She specializes in the political economy of development and the Middle East; teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on comparative politics, development, and Middle East politics; and consults for development policy organizations. She also co-edits the Cambridge University Press Cambridge Elements series on the politics of development.
Evan Lieberman, Total Chair and Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Evan Lieberman is the Total Chair and professor of political science and contemporary Africa at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He conducts research in the field of comparative politics, with a focus on development and ethnic conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Boundaries of Contagion: How Ethnic Politics have Shaped Government Responses to AIDS (Princeton University Press, 2009) and Race and Regionalism in the Politics of Taxation in Brazil and South Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and has published articles in the American Political Science Review, Annual Review of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Politics & Society, Studies in Comparative International Development, and World Development.
Ben Ross Schneider, Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the MIT Brazil Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ben Ross Schneider is the Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the MIT Brazil Program. Prior to joining the department in 2008, Schneider taught at Princeton University and Northwestern University. His teaching and research interests fall within the general fields of comparative politics, political economy, and Latin American politics. His books include Reinventing Leviathan: The Politics of Administrative Reform in Developing Countries (2003), Business Politics and the State in 20th Century Latin America (2004), Hierarchical Capitalism in Latin America: Business, Labor, and the Challenges of Equitable Development (Cambridge University Press, 2013), Designing Industrial Policy in Latin America: Business-Government Relations and the New Developmentalism (2015), and New Order and Progress: Democracy and Development in Brazil (Oxford University Press, 2016).
Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro, Stanley J. Bernstein Assistant Professor of Political Science, Brown University
Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro is the Stanley J. Bernstein Assistant Professor of Political Science at Brown University. Her research seeks to understand variation in political responsiveness and government accountability in Latin America. She has published a book, Curbing Clientelism in Argentina: Politics, Poverty, and Social Policy, with Cambridge University Press (2014) and many articles in scholarly journals. Her current projects examine citizen attitudes towards corruption, and the functioning of government oversight agencies. She received a PhD from Columbia University and an AB from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. She has been a Fulbright scholar in Argentina and a visiting scholar at the Juan March Institute in Madrid.
The World Bank