About

root_200Dr. Hilton Root is a policy specialist in international political economy and development, and a member of the faculty at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. His current research examines three related areas: (1) global power transition and the challenge of legitimacy; (2) the comparative and historical dynamics of state-building; and (3) the use of complexity models to understand the evolution of social institutions.

He is currently a Professor at the George Mason Schar School of Policy and Government; a visiting Professor at King’s College, London; and visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute for Economic Affairs. Other academic appointments include: faculty member at the California Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University, a Freeman Visiting Professor of Economics at Pitzer College, and Senior Fellow at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Root was Director and Senior Fellow of Global Studies at the Milken Institute, and Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Initiative on Economic Growth and Democracy at the Hoover Institution.

As a policy adviser, Dr. Root has helped put institutions on the global development agenda. He served the U.S. Treasury as senior adviser on development finance 2001-2002, and was one of the originators of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). He advises the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Treasury Department, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He has completed projects in more than 25 countries. As team leader of “Enhancing Government Effectiveness,” a USAID-funded program, he directed projects in five Muslim-majority countries: the West Bank/Gaza, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Yemen. Most recently, he helped re-engineer the Planning Commission of the Government of Pakistan in 2010-2011, and a USAID/CSF-Pakistan initiative on intergovernmental finance and devolution.

Dr. Root has has lectured extensively and has authored more than 100 publications, including nine books. He is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal Asia, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. His writings have been translated into French, Chinese, Greek, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese.

He has been awarded honors for The Key to the East Asian Miracle: Making Shared Growth Credible (with J. Edgardo Campos), which won the 1997 Charles H. Levine Award for Best Book of the Year from the International Political Science Association. The Social Sciences History Association awarded him the 1995 Best Book prize of its Economic History Section for The Fountain of Privilege: Political Foundations of Markets in Old Regime France and England. From the American Historical Association, he received the Chester Higby Prize 1986 for the Best Article among those published for two consecutive years. Dr. Root received his doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1983.

Areas of Expertise:

Major Fields: International Political Economy, and Finance and International Economic Policy

Subfields: International development, global governance, developing regions, political economy of development policy, economic policy reform, North-South relations, Asian Pacific affairs, complexity sciences.

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Root Wire

  • Hilton Root discusses diversities in global development

  • Is democracy in China’s future?

    US democracy arose in a federalist context; as part of a social contract it secured the consent of the states to join the union. Two other enduring democracies share this precondition: the Europe Union, whose leadership, determined by an electoral system, ensures rotation among equals; and the Indian republic formed in 1947, which faced similar […]Read More »
  • Will Globalization End American Exceptionalism: Ecological Perspective

    Throughout most of its history, the United States enjoyed the rare position of being a global player by choice. Until a generation or so ago, the U.S. could wish the world away. Then when it finally welcomed “connectivity,” engagement was on its terms. The young republic enjoyed three conditions unique in the history of state […]Read More »
  • On the structure of global networks and China

    Blog 2: (This is part 2 of a series addressing the main themes of my new book, Dynamics Among Nations, published by MIT Press). On the structure of global networks and China (This essay considers Paul Ormerod’s http://www.paulormerod.com/ discussion of network effects and social choices in Positive Linking http://www.amazon.co.uk/Positive-Linking-Networks-Revolutionise-World/dp/0571279201. Paul shared his ideas with my […]Read More »
  • The Limits of Convergence

    The extremely impressive fiscal performance of the liberal regimes of North Western Europe, during the early modern period (1600-1800) did not inspire a continent-wide dynamic of convergence towards liberal forms of governance.Read More »