Margaret Levi




Department of Political Science
Box 353530
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 322-9327

United States Studies Centre
University of Sydney, NSW 2006
61 2 911 40580



Center for Comparative and Historical Analysis of Organizations and States




CHAOS Affiliates

Political Science

Margaret Levi, Director, Chris Adolph, James Caporaso, Rachel Cichowski, Anthony Gill, Ellis Goldberg, Victor Menaldo, Aseem Prakash, Susan Whiting


Yoram Barzel

Evans School

Mary Kay Gugerty


Edgar Kiser, Steve Pfaff, Katherine Stovel


Carolina Johnson csjohns@uw.edu


Mission Statement

The Center for Comparative and Historical Analysis of Organizations and States (CHAOS) at the University of Washington is an interdisciplinary group of distinguished political scientists, sociologists and economists with a shared interest in problems of governance. We are committed to developing social science tools meant to improve the capacities of states and organizations so that they better serve all of their constituencies. What arrangements are best able to resolve conflicts--ethnic, religious, racial, class? What best contribute to economic growth? How can institutions be designed to encourage political and social freedoms without endangering political stability? How can these institutions be made fair, responsive and trustworthy from the perspective of all they are meant to serve?

We ground our answers in an approach that puts present problems in historical and comparative perspective. In order to understand what is possible, we need to understand what has been tried and failed--and why. We also must be able to theorize about paths not yet considered or taken.



In addition to the informal seminars held among the faculty members to report on work-in-progress, CHAOS and Cambridge University Press have co-sponsored the following workshops around penultimate drafts of book manuscripts by major social science scholars.



Kanchan Chandra, New York University, "Ethnic Diversity and Democracy."

Jonathan Rodden, Stanford University, "Political Geography in the Shadow of the Industrial Revolution."

Layna Mosley, University of North Carolina, "Working Globally? Multinational Production and Labor Rights."


Roger Petersen, MIT, "Understanding Western Intervention in the Twenty-First Century: Rationality, Fear, and Loathing in the Western Balkans."

Torben Iversen and Frances Rosenbluth, "Gender and the economy: A comparative institutional perspective on the family and gender inequality."


Alberto Diaz-Cayeros, Federico Estevez, and Beatriz Magaloni."Strategies of Vote Buying: Poverty, Democracy, and Social Transfers in Mexico." Seattle Seminar at Yale

James Mahoney, Northwestern University, "Colonialism and Develpment: American in Comparative Perspective."

Stephen Hanson, University of Washington, "Ideology, Uncertainty, and Democracy: Party Formation in the 3rd Republic France, Weimar Germany and Post-Soviet Russia."


Maria Victoria Murillo, Columbia University, "Voice and Light: Political Competition and Partisanship in the Reform of Latin American Public Utilities."

Pauline Jones-Luong and Erika Weintha, "Enriching the State: Resource Wealth, Ownership Structure and Institutional Capacity."

Steven Wilkinson, Duke University, "Colonization, Democracy and Conflict."


Ken Roberts, Cornell University, "Changing Course: Parties, Populism,and Political Representation in Latin America's Neoliberal Era."

Chris Adolph, University of Washington, "The Dilemma of Discretion: Career Ambitions and the Politics of Central Banking ."

Nicholas Sambanis, Yale University, "Causes of Civil Wars."


Herbert Kitschelt, Duke University, Guillermo Rosas, Washington University, Liz Zechmeister, UC Davis, and Kirk Hawkins, Brigham Young University, "Patterns of Party Competition in Latin America."

Anna Grzymala-Busse, University of Michigan, "Party Competition and State Politicization."


Peter Gourevitch, UCSD, and James Shinn, "Explaining Corporate Governance Systems: the Role of Politics."

Arun Agrawal, University of Michigan, "Environmental Politics and Institutional Choice: Forestry and Wildlife Policies in the Developing World."


Pablo Spiller, Berkeley, and Mariano Tomassi, San Andreas, "The Institutional Foundations of Public Policy: A Transactions Approach with Application to Argentina."

Daniel Treisman, UCLA, "Decentralization, Governance, and Economic Performance."


Sidney Tarrow, Cornell University, "Rootless Cosmopolitans."

Kathryn Sikkink, University of Minnesota, "From Santiago to Seattle: Transnational Advocacy Networks Restructuring World Politics."

Torben Iversen, Harvard University, "Capitalism and Welfare: The Political Economy of Social Protection."


Stathis Kalyvas, Yale University, "The Logic of Violence in Civil War."

John Huber, Columbia University, and Charles Shipan, University of Iowa, "Deliberate Discretion? The Institutional Foundations of Bureaucratic Autonomy."