Kate Baldwin, newly named as the Peter Strauss Family Assistant Professor of Political Science, focuses her research on political accountability, state building, and the politics of development, with a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
Baldwin’s current research projects analyze politics in weak states. In these contexts, she is interested in how community-level institutions — such as traditional leaders and NGOs — interact with the national state to affect development, democracy, and conflict. She uses a variety of methods in her research, including qualitative methods, survey research, historical analysis, and experiments. She has conducted field research in Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Baldwin is the author of the book “The Paradox of Traditional Chiefs in Democratic Africa,” which received an Honorable Mention for the Riker Award recognizing the best book in political economy published in the previous three year. She has published articles in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, World Politics and Comparative Politics, among other publications. Her article “Why Vote with the Chief? Political Connections and Public Goods Provision in Zambia” won the 2014 award for the best article published in the previous volume of the American Journal of Political Science.
After graduating from Queen’s University (Canada), Baldwin earned an M.A., M.Phil., and a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. She began her academic career as an assistant professor of political science at the University of Florida before joining the Yale faculty in 2013 as an assistant professor of political science.