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Political science faculty member receives National Science Foundation grant


Dan Pemstein, assistant professor of political science, recently was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to fund a research project titled “Institutions and Development, A Disaggregated Historical Analysis.” 

The award, which totals $275,929, provides NDSU with $98,529 in research support distributed over two years. The project will be pursued collaboratively with researchers from Boston University and the University of Notre Dame.

The project uses data to reexamine and expand upon longstanding theories of how democratic institutions and economic development affect one another, Pemstein said. Most scholars and policymakers believe one can encourage desirable social outcomes by encouraging the development of democratic institutions within states.

“This project is about unpacking the black box of democracy to identify specific institutional features that are particularly key to fostering and sustaining economic and social development,” Pemstein said.

Pemstein said the project also provides a new data source to the research and development communities.

The National Science Foundation award number is SES-1423944.

For an overview of the project’s core data collection, visit

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