In 2023 I was elected a Member of The Academy of Europe –Academia Europea– where I am affiliated with the “Governance, Institutions and Policies” section.
My academic background includes Economics (at the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, 1990), Sociology (with a focus on the Sociology of Organizations and Institutions at the University of Bucharest, 2000) and Political Sciences (with a focus on Institutional Theory at Indiana University Bloomington, PhD 2004, where I studied with Vincent and Elinor Ostrom at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, and where I also was an Affiliated Faculty between 2004 and 2014, and a Senior Research Fellow since 2023). My background also includes a degree in Philosophy with a focuss on Social and Political Philosophy (BGSU Ohio, 1998) and a habilitation in Administrative Sciences, from the Babeș-Bolyai University (2022).
My work is interdisciplinary, at the interface between institutional analysis, administrative sciences and political philosophy and falls more or less into three classes, united by an underlying interest in alternative economic and governance systems, and the challenges of thinking about the future -the possible and the feasible- with a view to the problems of social risks, social and technological control, and human resilience.
Institutionalism and Governance 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, resilience and adaptability in governance and social-ecological systems, institutional design and feasibility. My books in this area:
- Public Governance and the Classical Liberal Perspective. The Political Economy Foundations(with P. Boettke and V. Tarko), Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2019.
- 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.
- Applications of Public Choice Theory to Public Policy (edited by Brian Meehan, Jayme Lemke and Paul Dragos Aligica) Rowman and Littlefield, London New York, 2023.
- Ostrom’s Tensions: Reexamining the Political Economy and Public Policy of Elinor C. Ostrom, eds. Roberta Q. Herzberg, Paul Dragos Aligica, and Peter J. Boettke. Arlington, VA: Mercatus Center at George Mason University, 2019.
Political Economy and Social Philosophy
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:
- Economic Dualism and Agrarian Policies: Land Reforms and Structural Economic Change in Romania, 1864–2000, with A. Dabu, Springer Nature, 2020.
- 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.
Social Predictions, Social Risks and Social and Technological Control
Social trends, social risks, scenarios, predictions, social control and the theory and intellectual history of thinking about the future. Published volumes in this area:
- Culture, Sociality, and Morality. New Applications of Mainline Political Economy (edited by P. Aligica, Ginny Choi and Virgil Storr). Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, 2022.
- The Institutionalization of Indoctrination: An Exploratory Investigation. Conceptual Frameworks and Case Study Based Insights, (with Simona Preda), Lexington Books – Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, 2022.
- Prophecies of Doom and Scenarios of Progress. Herman Kahn, Julian Simon and the Prospective Imagination. Continuum / Bloomsbury Publishing, London and New York, 2007.
- 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.
- Wendell Bell and the Foundations of Futures Studies, Editor of 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; Social Philosophy & Policy; Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly; Public Choice; Review of Political Economy; Administration & Society; Academy of Management Proceeding; Contemporary Politics; Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research; Comparative Economic Studies; Society; The American Journal of Economics and Sociology; 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; Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice; The Good Society-The Journal of the Committee on the Political Economy of the Good Society; Communist and Post-Communist Studies; The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics; The Oxford Handbook of Public Choice; The Routledge Handbook of Public Policy; The SAGE Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences.
Outside of academia, my experience includes being a consultant implementing, developing and coordinating projects for organizations such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and for companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton.
My association with the Hudson Institute started as a Herman Kahn Fellow at the Indianapolis Headquarters (2002-2003) and continued as an Adjunct Fellow, in Washington DC, between 2004 and 2012. Curently I am associated with Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS) where I publish occasionally reports and commentaries.
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 books 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 nationally preeminent weekly publication Revista 22 and a constant 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 and popularize Western social sciences in academia and public policy, as part of the post-communist transition.
In the 1990s and until mid-2000s I was associated with the Romanian pro-Western, pro-democracy liberal 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.