Research Professor Emeritus of Political Science
William Keech is Research Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Political Science at Duke University. He is emeritus professor of political economy at Carnegie Mellon University and adjunct professor at the Qatar campus of Carnegie Mellon. From 1965 through 1996 he was on the political science faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He has been working at the intersection of political science and economics since the late 1970s. A leading example of his interests is Economic Politics: The Costs of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 1995). This book argues that opportunistic incentives of democratic politics are not systematically at odds with good economic performance in the United States. Recent developments make him more pessimistic, and he is planning a second edition that will emphasize the risks of fiscal irresponsibility.
Canada provides a contrast of a democratic country that is not fiscally irresponsible, as is argued in a chapter (co-authored with William Scarth of McMaster University) that compares the contemporary economic policies of the US and Canada. This will appear in Experiment in Democracy: Institutions and Policymaking in the United States and Canada, edited by Paul J. Quirk, Mark Warren, and Colin Campbell.
For some time, Keech has been working on a book project entitled Economic Politics in Latin America: Rethinking Democracy and Authoritarianism. This manuscript argues that there is no simple, systematic relationship between regime type and economic performance.
He teaches The Political Economy of Growth, Stabilization and Distribution, which is cross listed in political science and economics.
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