Ryan Saylor PhD

Associate Professor of Political Science Henry Kendall College of Arts & Sciences
Political Science


Ryan Saylor's research interests include state building and political development; politics in Africa and Latin America; and research methodology.

He is the author of State Building in Boom Times: Commodities and Coalitions in Latin America and Africa (Oxford University Press, 2014). 

Ph.D., University of Virginia
M.A., University of Virginia
B.S., Miami University
B.A., Miami University

State Building and Political Development
Bureaucratic Reform and Good Governance
Latin America

Comparative Politics
African Politics
Corruption and Government Reform
Latin American Politics
State Building

The following may be selected publications rather than a comprehensive list.


State Building in Boom Times: Commodities and Coalitions in Latin America and Africa (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).

Journal Articles

“Why Causal Mechanisms and Process Tracing Should Alter Case Selection Guidance.” Sociological Methods & Research (forthcoming).

“Paying for War and Building States: The Coalitional Politics of Debt Servicing and Tax Institutions” (with Nicholas C. Wheeler). World Politics 69(2) (April 2017): 366-408.

“Ethnic Entrepreneurs and Movements for New Administrative Units: Lessons from Nigeria.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 46(4) (Fall 2016): 568-595.

“Commodity Booms, Coalitional Politics, and Government Intervention in Credit Markets.” Review of International Political Economy 21(3) (June 2014): 640-669.

“Concepts, Measures, and Measuring Well: An Alternative Outlook.” Sociological Methods & Research 42(3) (August 2013): 354-391.

“Probing the Historical Sources of the Mauritian Miracle: Sugar Exporters and State Building in Colonial Mauritius.” Review of African Political Economy 39(133) (September 2012): 465-478.

“Sources of State Capacity in Latin America: Commodity Booms and State Building Motives in Chile.” Theory and Society 41(3) (May 2012): 301-324.

POL 2263 Modern Latin America
POL 2333 Introduction to Comparative Politics
POL 3263 African Politics
POL 3303 State Building and Political Development
POL 4083 The Politics of National Resource Wealth
POL 4503 Topics in International Studies
POL 4973 Senior Project