Michael Albertus


Michael Albertus was the 2015-16 W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow and the William C. Bark National Fellow. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His main research focus is on the political conditions under which governments implement egalitarian reforms. His first book project, Autocracy and Redistribution: The Politics of Land Reform, published by Cambridge University Press, examines why and when land reform programs are implemented. Other research interests include political regime transitions and stability, politics under dictatorship, clientelism, and civil conflict. Albertus' work has been published in the British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Economics & Politics, Comparative Politics, World Development, International Studies Quarterly, and Latin American Research Review.

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Recent Commentary

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Analysis and Commentary

Here Are The 3 (Big!) Challenges Facing Peru’s Next President

by Michael Albertusvia The Washington Post
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Peru’s presidential candidates squared off in the first round of voting April 10. Keiko Fujimori, the first-place winner, and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, in second place, now face a runoff vote in June.

Analysis and Commentary

The Key To Peace In Colombia Is In Its Countryside

by Michael Albertus, Oliver Kaplanvia Forbes
Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Colombian government and the FARC rebel group recently announced a transitional justice agreement and final date to end the Colombia’s long-running armed conflict. Attention is now turning to the future implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement.

Autocracy and Redistribution: The Politics of Land Reform

by Michael Albertus
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

When and why do countries redistribute land to the landless? What political purposes does land reform serve, and what place does it have in today's world? A longstanding literature dating back to Aristotle and echoed in important recent works holds that redistribution should be both higher and more targeted at the poor under democracy. Yet comprehensive historical data to test this claim has been lacking. This book shows that land redistribution – the most consequential form of redistribution in the developing world – occurs more often under dictatorship than democracy.

Analysis and Commentary

Piketty Thinks South Africa Needs To Redistribute Land. Democracies Can’t Do That. Dictators Can.

by Michael Albertusvia The Monkey Cage (Washington Post)
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Despite two decades of rule by the African National Congress (ANC), income inequality in South Africa is sky-high. Indeed, it is higher now than it was at the end of apartheid.