Benjamin A.T. Graham

Associate Professor of International Relations
Benjamin A.T. Graham
Email Office VKC 330 Office Phone (213) 740-2136

Center, Institute & Lab Affiliations

  • U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Special Sworn Employee


  • Ph.D. Political Science, University of California, San Diego, 2012
  • B.A. Government, Dartmouth College, 2004
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Political economy is most interesting where political institutions are unstable and markets are inefficient. Under these conditions, intellectual puzzles abound, and academic advances have real potential to save and improve lives.

    My primary research is on the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the development and stabilization of fragile and developing states. Many of these states are caught in a cycle in which instability and violence reduce investment, low investment leads to economic stagnation, and economic stagnation leads to renewed violence and instability. One path out of this equilibrium is for fragile states to succeed in attracting FDI while the political system is still unstable and political risk remains high.

    I examine what types of firms are able to succeed in the face of high levels of political risk, and explore what this implies for the ability of private capital to facilitate the improvement of political institutions. One group of investors I examine in detail are diaspora investors, who have competitive advantages investing in their (sometimes poorly governed) homelands.

    I also conduct research on unrecognized states, powersharing, and federalism.

  • Journal Article

    • Bauer, M., Cruz, C., Graham, B. A. (2012). Democracies Only: When do FDI Agreements Serve as a Seal of Approval. Review of International Organizations. Vol. 7 (1)
    • Graham, B. A. (2009). Nagorno-Karabakh in Limbo. Middle East Quarterly. Vol. 16 (4)