I am a Senior Research Fellow in the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Mercatus Center at George Mason University and I teach in the graduate program of the Economics Department at George Mason University. I am also affiliated with the Department of Economic and Administrative Sciences at the University of Bucharest and the Ed Snider Center at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park.
My work is interdisciplinary and falls more or less into three classes, united by an underlying interest in institutional diversity, alternative economic and governance systems, and the theory and history of social thinking about the future, the possible and the feasible:
(1) Institutional Theory. Contributions to the school of public choice and institutional theory developed by the Economics Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom and her collaborator, Vincent Ostrom: Theories of governance, polycentric systems, the “neither markets nor states” domain, civics in governance systems, institutional design and feasibility. My books in this area:
- Public Entrepreneurship, Citizenship and Self-Governance, Cambridge University Press, 2018.
- Institutional Diversity and Political Economy. The Ostroms and Beyond, Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Rethinking Institutional Analysis and Development: The Bloomington School, with Peter Boettke, London and New-York: Routledge, 2009.
- Choice, Rules and Collective Action. The Ostroms on the Study of Institutions and Governance, co-edited with Fillipo Sabetti, The European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Press, 2014.
- Paths to Property: Approaches to Institutional Change in International Development, with Karol Boudreaux, IEA Publications, Institute for Economic Affairs London, 2007.
(2) Political Economy. Various analytical, normative and historical explorations at the interface between business, society and government; with a special interest in the history and evolution of ideas about capitalism, socialism and alternative economic and governance systems. My books in this area:
- Comparative Economic Systems (edited by Aligica, P. and Boettke, P.), Edward Elgar International Library of Critical Writings in Economics Series, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, 2018.
- Exploring the Political Economy and Social Philosophy of James Buchanan, (edited by Aligica, P. and Coyne, C. and Haeffle. S.), Rowman and Littlefield, London New York, 2018.
- The Austrian and the Bloomington Schools of Political Economy (edited by Aligica, P. D. and Lewis, P. A. and Storr, V. H.), Advances in Austrian Economics Series, Emerald Publishers, 2017.
- Capitalist Alternatives: Models, Taxonomies, Scenarios, with Vlad Tarko, London and New-York: Routledge, 2015.
- The Neoliberal Revolution in Eastern Europe: Economic Ideas in the Transition from Communism, with Anthony Evans, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008.
(3) Futures Studies. Scenarios, predictions, strategies and the theory and intellectual history of thinking about the future. Published volumes in this area:
- In Defense of Thinking. The Essential Herman Kahn, edited with an introduction by Paul Dragos Aligica and Kenneth R. Weinstein, Lexington Books – Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009.
- Prophecies of Doom and Scenarios of Progress. Herman Kahn, Julian Simon and the Prospective Imagination. Continuum / Bloomsbury Publishing, London and New York, 2007.
- Editor of Wendell Bell and the Foundations of Futures Studies, Special Issue of Futures – The Journal of Policy, Planning and Futures Studies, vol.43, issue 6, 2011.
My work has been published in: American Political Science Review; Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly; Public Choice; Review of Political Economy; Administration & Society; Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research; Comparative Economic Studies; Society; Constitutional Political Economy; Kyklos: International Review of Social Sciences; Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions; Policy Studies Journal (PSJ); Review of Austrian Economics; East European Economics; Revue Française d’economie; Comparative Strategy; Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization; Technological Forecasting and Social Change; Futures-The Journal of Policy, Planning and Futures Studies; The Good Society-The Journal of the Committee on the Political Economy of the Good Society; The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics; Communist and Post-Communist Studies; The Oxford Handbook of Public Choice; The Routledge Handbook of Public Policy; The SAGE Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences.
And here is my teaching portfolio.
My current projects are:
- “Revisiting Communism: Collectivist Economic Thought in Historical Perspective”, a project based on my archival research in the Economics and Cold War Collections of the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University, and in which I am part of an international team working in eight Post-Communist countries and coordinated by the Institut für die Wissenschaften von Menschen (IWM), Vienna.
- “Alternatives to Capitalism and Liberal Democracy: Theoretical Foundations, Institutional Designs, Administrative Feasibility”.
- “The Functionalist Theory of Governance: David Mitrany and the Misinterpreted Intellectual Legacy of his Work”; a project based on pioneering archival research in the David Mitrany archives at London School of Economics.
In addition to my academic work, I have also written occasional pieces for Wall Street Journal Europe, Reason, Transitions, American Outlook, and for a while I contributed to the book review section of Indianapolis Star. However, my main work in this respect has been in Romanian. I have been a member of the editorial team of the preeminent weekly publication Revista 22 and a steady and sometimes controversial contributor to the national public debate.
I have also published a number of books in Romanian and translated several others, and I wrote extensively to promote Western social sciences in academia and public policy, as part of the post-communist transition. Some titles here.
In the 1990s and until mid-2000s I was associated with the Romanian pro-Western, pro-democracy movement as a founder and coordinator of several national-level political and civil society organizational initiatives and by being a couple of times an adviser to reformist political parties and cabinet members.
Since 2008 I have been a US resident.