Keynote Address: Historical Persistence and Social Change

- Avidit Acharya

Discussion Type: Chautari Annual-Conference | Date: 28 Nov 2023 | Time: 03:30 PM


Keynote Address
Chautari Annual Conference – 2023

Historical Persistence and Social Change

by Professor Avidit Acharya, Stanford University, USA

November 28, 2023 (Tuesday)
3:30 p.m.
Martin Chautari, Thapathali, Kathmandu

Abstract:  In this lecture, I will review the recent political economy literature on historical persistence. Historical persistence refers to the idea that the effects of historical forces can persist long into the future. I will first provide an overview of the literature, focusing on key substantive themes. Second, I will discuss several of the theories behind historical persistence. Third, I will discuss some of the methodological issues that emerge in establishing causality and interpreting the empirical findings of the literature. Finally, I will discuss how the persistence literature could now benefit from a reorientation that seeks to answer the main open questions in the literature: Under what conditions does historical persistence take place? And under what conditions does social change occur, leading to breaks in historical persistence? The lecture is based on my review article titled “Historical Persistence” (joint with Matt Blackwell and Maya Sen) published in the Oxford Handbook of Historical Political Economy (edited by Jeff Jenkins and Jared Rubin). 


Avidit Acharya is a political economist, and a professor of political science at Stanford University. He is the coauthor of two books, Deep Roots: How Slavery Still Shapes Southern Politics (Princeton University Press, 2018) and The Cartel System of States: An Economic Theory of International Politics (Oxford University Press, 2023). He has won several awards for this research, including the Riker Best Book Award, the Elinor Ostrom Best Paper Award, and the Gosnell Prize in Political Methodology. He is a managing editor at the journal Social Choice and Welfare and an advisory editor at Games and Economic Behavior. He taught in the economics and political science departments of the University of Rochester before joining the Stanford faculty.

This is a public event; open to all.

- Avidit Acharya

Past Events