Faculty Publications

Secure property rights are central to economic development and stable government, yet difficult to create. Relying on surveys in Russia from 2000 to 2012, Timothy Frye examines how political power, institutions, and norms shape property rights for firms. Through a series of simple survey experiments, Property Rights and Property Wrongs explores how political power, personal connections, elections, concerns for reputation, legal facts, and social norms influence property rights disputes from hostile corporate takeovers to debt collection to renationalization. This work argues that property rights in Russia are better seen as an evolving bargain between rulers and rightholders than as simply a reflection of economic transition, Russian culture, or a weak state. The result is a nuanced view of the political economy of Russia that contributes to central debates in economic development, comparative politics, and legal studies.
A penetrating look into the unrecognized and unregulated links between autocratic regimes in Central Asia and centers of power and wealth throughout the West Weak, corrupt, and politically unstable, the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are dismissed as isolated and irrelevant to the outside world. But are they? This hard-hitting book argues that Central Asia is in reality a globalization leader with extensive involvement in economics, politics and security dynamics beyond its borders. Yet Central Asia’s international activities are mostly hidden from view, with disturbing implications for world security.
Zionism is the nationalist movement affirming Jewish people's right to self-determination through the establishment of a Jewish national state in its ancient homeland. It is one of the most controversial ideologies in the world. Its supporters laud its success at liberating the Jewish people after millennia of persecution and at securing the creation of Israel. But to its opponents, Zionism relies on a racist ideology culminating in Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and is one of the last manifestations of colonial oppression in the world. Since the late 1990s, the centrality of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the world news has sharpened this controversy, dramatically politicizing any attempt to understand Zionism and its significance as an intellectual and cultural movement.
In How Russia Learned to Write Literature and the Imperial Table of Ranks Irina Reyfman (Professor of Slavic Languages) explores how compulsory service to the state shaped the course of Russian literature. In the eighteenth century, as modern forms of literature began to emerge in Russia, most of the writers producing it were members of the nobility. But their literary pursuits competed with strictly enforced obligations to imperial state service. Unique to Russia was the Table of Ranks, introduced by Emperor Peter the Great in 1722.
Anna Karenina and Others: Tolstoy’s Labyrinth of Plots reveals why the whole of Anna Karenina is greater than the sum of its plots. With its complex structure, Anna Karenina places special demands on readers who must follow multiple plotlines and discern their hidden linkages. In her well-conceived and jargon-free analysis, Liza Knapp offers a fresh approach to understanding how the novel is constructed, how it creates patterns of meaning, and why it is much more than Tolstoy’s version of an adultery story.