I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT and a Faculty Associate at MIT's Global Diversity Lab and GOV/LAB.

My research focuses on electoral politics, political economy, and urban politics in Africa. My first book, Electoral Politics and Africa’s Urban Transition: Class and Ethnicity in Ghana (Cambridge University Press, 2019), examines urbanization's impacts on ethnic politics, clientelism, and the emergence of programmatic electoral competition. My second book, The Scarce State: Inequality and Political Power in the Hinterland (Cambridge University Press, 2023), explores long-term effects of state-building in the rural periphery on economic inequality, elite capture, clientelism, and violence.

My research has been published in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Annual Review of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Politics, and World Politics. I received my PhD in Government at Harvard in 2016 and previously taught at the University of Michigan. For more information, see my CV or Papers and Manuscripts. I'm tweeting at @noahlnathan