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Abramson, Scott

Assistant Professor

University of Rochester, United States


United States

Max Weber alumnus

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Cohort(s): 2014/2015

Ph.D. Institution

Princeton University, United States


I hold a PhD in Politics from Princeton University. My dissertation titled ‘Production, Predation, and the Origins of the Territorial State’, like my research agenda more broadly, seeks to understand the causes of political order, the evolution of the international system, and the origins of the set of institutions identified with the modern territorial state. I expect to defend my dissertation in June of 2014.
My research is motivated by topics of political development at the intersection of international relations and comparative politics. Specifically, I focus on questions of state formation that seek to understand why modern territorial states arose in Europe and then came to be the modal form of political organization across the globe. In this vein, my book project challenges the long standing belief that war made states. I show, first in a simple game theoretic framework and then through a series of statistical tests and case studies, that even in a world of unconstrained interstate competition, economic factors best explain variation in the size and number of European states before the French Revolution. Drafts of working papers and chapters are available on my website.
I have taught a variety of introductory and advanced undergraduate and graduate political methodology courses as well as topics in comparative politics and international relations.
I will start as faculty in the Department of Political Science at the University of Rochester in the Fall of 2015.

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