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Working Group in African Political Economy

WGAPE is an international forum for academic researchers who combine deep field research experience in Africa with training in political economy methods.

Founded in 2002, the Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE - pronounced "wah-gah-pay") brings together west coast-based faculty and advanced graduate students in Political Science and Economics who combine deep field research experience in Africa with training in political economy methods. The group meets semi-annually to discuss the work-in-progress of its regular members and invited guests. WGAPE's first national meetings were funded by the National Science Foundation, and have since been supported by host institutions. It is co-led by Brian Dillon (Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington), Daniel Posner (Department of Political Science, UCLA) and Edward Miguel (Department of Economics, UC Berkeley). WGAPE is committed to incorporating African scholars into the network in order to crteate and build collaborative relationships. 

Meetings are built around in-depth discussions of seven or eight papers and research designs (see the archive of papers discussed at past WGAPE meetings). The emphasis is on discussion rather than presentation, and members are encouraged to present work in progress on which they would like feedback from the group. Recent meetings have focused on research in the design stage, as the meetings provide a unique opportunity to include valuable feedback that ultimately leads to more relevant and impactful research. 

Papers presented at WGAPE meetings have been published in many of the leading journals in Political Science and Economics, including the Journal of Political Economy, the American Political Science Review, the Journal of African Economies, World Politics, African Affairs, the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Review of Economic Studies, and the Review of African Political Economy, as well as in several edited volumes. 

Since its inception, three sister networks have formed which carry out similar objectives of WGAPE meetings. These include:

WGAPE Executive Committee Members

  • Christopher Blattman, Harris School of Public Policy, The University of Chicago
  • Brian Dillon, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, co-convenor
  • Kim Yi Dionne, Department of Government, Smith College
  • Karen Ferree, Department of Political Science, UCSD
  • Nahomi Ichino, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan
  • Eric Kramon, Department of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Kimuli Kasara, Department of Political Science, Columbia University
  • Edward Miguel, Department of Economics, UC Berkeley, co-convenor
  • Nathan Nunn, Department of Economics, Harvard University
  • Daniel Posner, Department of Political Science, UCLA, co-convenor
  • Amanda Robinson, Department of Political Science, The Ohio State University
  • Jeremy Weinstein, Department of Political Science, Stanford University

​WGAPE Faculty Members

* Denotes former graduate student members (now faculty)

Papers Discussed at WGAPE Meetings

(Some of the links below are to subsequently revised and/or published versions of the papers presented at WGAPE. Paper presenters marked with an * were outside guests of WGAPE.)

6-8 January 2017, New York University, Abu Dhabi

18-19 November 2016, Stanford University 
29-30 April 2016, The World Bank and George Washington University
6-9 January 2016, New York University, Abu Dhabi
6-7 November 2015, Arizona State University

29-30 May 2015, Brown University

9-10 January 2015, University of Washington

16-17 May 2014, UC Los Angeles

19 December 2013, UC Berkeley

3-4 May 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

10 November 2012, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

24-25 May 2012, UC Berkeley

30 March 2012, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

9-10 December 2011, Stanford

20-21 May 2011, UCSD

17-18 December 2010, UC Berkeley

30 April-1 May 2010, Pomona College

11-12 December 2009, UC Berkeley

15-16 May 2009, UCLA

5-6 December 2008, UC Berkeley

16-17 May 2008, UCLA

14-15 December 2007, Stanford

20-21 April 2007, Stanford

1-2 December 2006, UCLA

14-15 April 2006, UC Berkeley

14-15 October 2005, Santa Clara University

13-14 May 2005, UCLA

17-18 December 2004, Caltech

4-5 June 2004, UCSD

12-13 March 2004, Pomona College

5-6 December 2003, UCLA

2-3 May 2003, UCLA

31 January-1 February 2003, UCLA

27-28 November 2002, UCLA