A Virginia native, Israel Marques is a Visiting Fellow at George Washington University. Prior to Russia’s horrific invasion of Ukraine, he was an assistant professor of Politics and Governance at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia and a research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development, an international laboratory at the NRU – HSE.
His primary research explores the political economy of public services in middle-income countries, particularly Russia and post-communist Europe. Public services are central to political science, shaping electoral outcomes, popular support for governments, and economic development. His work explores how institutions – human constraints on human interaction – shape demand for public services. Weak institutions lead to many problems, including low accountability, weak rule of law, and corruption, that ben public services to political ends at the expense of poverty and inequality reduction. His research builds on the insight that these shape demand for services by enabling select groups to benefit at the expense of others, while creating new vulnerabilities for everyone else. His past work applies this insight to explain supply and demand for a range of public services among both businesses and the general population, including vocational education and training, redistributive social policies, and property rights. His recent research extends his work on popular demand to explore how and when electoral autocracies can use services as a tool for reproducing political power. Taken together, his work sheds light on the complex politics of public services in middle-income countries, how and when key social and business constituencies push for them, and the incentives of autocrats to provide them.
Israel received his Ph.D from Columbia University in 2016. Prior to that, he graduated with honors from Dartmouth College in 2007 with a dual degree in Government and History modified. He currently lives with his wife and children in Brazil.