Kiren Chaudhry

510 541 1602
Office Hours: By Appointment
Kiren Chaudhry's picture



Research Interests: 
Political Economy
Middle East/North Africa
Identity Politics
Trauma Theory
South Asia
B.A., University of Michigan
M.A., Harvard University
Ph.D., Harvard University
Personal Statement: 

Professor Chaudhry teaches in the fields of comparative politics, the political economy of development, the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Professor Chaudry received her B.A. from the University of Michigan, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her publications include The Price of Wealth (1997); "The Myths of the Market and the Common History of Late Developers," Politics and Society (1993); "Economic Liberalizations and the Lineages of the Rentier State", Comparative Politics (1993); and "The Price of Wealth: Business and State in Labor Remittance and Oil Economics," International Organization (1989).

Against the Grain Interview on "Dis(re)membering Pakistan"

Kingdom of the terrified: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is fraught with contradictions foisted upon it by modernism.


The Price of Wealth: Economies and Institutions in the Middle East (1997)

The emerging consensus that institutions shape political and economic outcomes has produced few theories of institutional change and no defensible theory of institutional origination. Kiren Aziz Chaudhry shows how state and market institutions are created and transformed in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, two countries that typify labor and oil exporters in the developing worlds.

In a world where the international economy dramatically affects domestic developments, the question of where institutions come from becomes at once more urgent and more complex. In both Saudi Arabia and Yemen, fundamental state and market institutions forged during a period of isolation at the end of World War I were destroyed and reshaped not once but three times in response to exogenous shocks. Comparing boom-bust cycles, Chaudhry exposes the alternating social and organizational origins of institutions, arguing that both broad changes in the international economy and specific forms of international integration shape institutional outcomes. Labor and oil exporters thus experience identical economic cycles but generate radically different state, market, and financial institutions in response to different resource flows.

Chaudhry supplemented years of field work in Saudi Arabia and Yemen with extensive analysis of previously unavailable materials in the Saudi national archives.

"It is hard to know where to begin in praise of Kiren Chaudhry's The Price of Wealth. Phrases, at once common and hyperbolic, come to mind: exhaustively researched, empirically rich, theoretically challenging. In Chaudhry's case there is simply no hyperbole involved. Chaudhry subjects macro-economic and political theory to the merciless scrutiny of solid inductive analysis. Any students of political economy will read this book with benefit."
—John Waterbury, Princeton University


"The Regional Economy Write Large: New and Recurring Forms of Poverty and Inequality in the Arab World,” Leonard Binder, ed., Devastated Economies, (UC Press, 2007)

“Consuming Interests: Market Failure and the Social Foundations of Iraqi Etatisme,”in Kamil A. Mahdi, ed.,  Iraq's Economic Predicament, (Reading, UK : Ithaca Press, 2002), Exeter Arab and Islamic Studies Series.
“Visions of Redemption, Templates of Despair”, Harvard University Weatherhead Center for International Affairs,  Occasional Paper Series, Harvard University,  2003.
"Prices and Politics: Two Oil Exporters in the World Economy," Business and Politics,(Winter 2000)
"Fictitious Universalism and Substantive Equality: A Comment," Citizenship Studies, (Vol.3, No. 3, 1999)
"The Middle East and the Political Economy of Development," Items, vol. 48, no. 2/3,  July/September, 1994.
*"Economic Liberalization and the Lineages of the Rentier State," Comparative Politics, October 1994.
***"The Myths of the Market and the Common History of Late Developers," Politics and Society, vol. 21, no. 3, September, 1993.
"Economic Liberalization in Oil Exporters: Saudi Arabia and Iraq," Eliya Harik and Dennis Sullivan, eds., Privatization and Economic Liberalization in the Middle East, Indiana University Press, 1992.
"On the Way to the Market: Economic Liberalization and the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait," Middle East Report, vol.21, no.3, May/June 1991.
**"The Price of Wealth: Business and State in Labor Remittance and Oil Economies," International Organization, vol. 43, no. 1, Winter, 1989.
"Ekonomisk liberalisering bakum Iraks invasion" Swedish translation of "On the Way to the Market", Reprinted in kommentar, no. 5, 1991 (Stockholm, Sweden).
With Peter McDonough, "State, Society and Sin: The Political Beliefs of University Students in Pakistan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, vol. 13, no. 1, November, 1983.
*Also reprinted in Nicholas Hopkins, ed., Arab Society: Contemporary Views, (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press), a collection of required texts for AUC students.  Oxford University Press, 2008.
*Also reprinted in Politics of the Modern Arab World: Critical Concepts in the Modern Politics of the Arab World, Routledge, 2009.
** Also reprinted in Tim Niblock, The Political Economy of the Middle East, (Exeter, 1998).
*** Reprinted in Steven Vogel, ed.,  The Political Economy Reader, Markets as Institutions,  (Routledge, Taylor &Francis, 2007).  Also republished in Russian and Chinese.


Fall 2010 - PS 142: Syllabus