Noah Nathan is an Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT. His research focuses on electoral politics, political economy, and urban politics in Africa. His first book, Electoral Politics and Africa’s Urban Transition: Class and Ethnicity in Ghana (Cambridge University Press, 2019), examines urbanization’s impacts on ethnic politics, clientelism, and the emergence of programmatic electoral competition. His second book, The Scarce State: Inequality and Political Power in the Hinterland (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), explores long-run legacies of state-building in the rural periphery, where developing states are often at their most absent. His other research has been published in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Annual Review of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Politics, and World Politics. He received his PhD in Government at Harvard in 2016.
News March 2023
[Broadstreet] Scarce States are Not Always Weak States
Professor Noah Nathan's new book "The Scarce State: Inequality and Political Power in the Hinterland" reframes our understanding of the political economy of hinterlands through a multi-method study of Northern Ghana alongside shadow cases from other world regions.
News November 2022
[MIT News] Urbanization: No Fast Lane to Transformation
Associate Professor Noah Nathan is generating a body of scholarship on the political impacts of urbanization throughout the global South.