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Visiting Professors

Hilton Root

Visiting Research Professor

hilton-croppedContact details:

Department of Political Economy
Second Floor
Strand Building
Strand Campus
London WC2R 2LS


Office Hours: Monday, 12:00- 16:00



Dr. Hilton Root is a policy specialist in international political economy and development. He is a Professor at  the George Mason University School of Public Policy and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Economy, King's College London.

Other academic appointments include being a member of the faculty at the California Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University and 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 was a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Initiative on Economic Growth and Democracy at the Hoover Institution.

As a policy advisor, Dr. Root has helped put institutions on the global development agenda. He served the U.S. Treasury as senior advisor on development finance 2001-2002, where he 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 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the US State Department, the US 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 Palestinian territories, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Yemen. Most recently, Dr. Root helped reengineer 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 written and lectured extensively, with more than 100 publications including nine books. He is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal Asia, the International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. He has published and presented in the French language and has been translated into many languages including 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 by 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.


Dr. Root’s most current research examines three related areas: global power transition and the challenge of legitimacy; the comparative and historical dynamics of state-building; and the use of complexity models to understand the emergence and evolution of social institutions.

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