Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili

Professor, Director of the Center for Governance and Markets

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili is Founding Director of the Center for Governance and Markets and a Professor at GSPIA. Her research focuses on issues of self-governance, security, political economy, and public sector reform in the developing world. She is a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Murtazashvili is the author of Informal Order and the State in Afghanistan (Cambridge University Press, 2016), which received the Best Book Award in Social Sciences by the Central Eurasian Studies Society and received honorable mention from the International Development Section of the International Studies Association. Murtazashvili has advised the United States Agency for International Development, the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, World Bank, the US Department of Defense, the United Nations Development Program, and UNICEF.

She is the President-elect of the Central Eurasian Studies Society and an elected board member of the Section for International and Comparative Public Administration of the American Society of Public Administration and a member of PONARS Eurasia, a research organization focused on security issues in Eurasia. She previously served as a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center. 

Courses Taught

  • State Building
  • Central Eurasia: Geopolitics, Security, and Political Economy
  • Political Economy Analysis for Global Affairs
  • Comparative Governance

    Education & Training

  • PhD - Political Science (2009) University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • M.A. - Agricultural and Applied Economics (2006) - University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • M.A. Political Science (2002) - University of Wisconsin--Madison
  • B.S in Foreign Service (1997) - Georgetown University
Recent Publications
  • Land, the State, and War: Property Institutions and Political Order in Afghanistan (with Ilia Murtazashvili). Cambridge Studies in Economics, Choice and Society series. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2021.
  • Informal Order and the State in Afghanistan. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
  • “Coercive Capacity, Land Reform and Political Order in Afghanistan," with Ilia Murtazashvili. Central Asian Survey 36, no. 2 (2017): 212–30.
  • Cai, Meina, Ilia Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, and Raufhon Salahodjaev. Toward a Political Economy of the Commons: Simple Rules for Sustainability, in press, Edward Elgar Press, New Thinking in Political Economy Series.
  • Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick, and Ilia Murtazashvili. 2021. Land, the State, and War: Property Institutions and Political Order in Afghanistan. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Harris, Colin, Meina Cai, Ilia Murtazashvili, and Jennifer Murtazashvili. 2020. The Origins and Consequences of Property Rights: Austrian, Public Choice, and Institutional Economics Perspectives. Cambridge University Press (Element Series).  
  • Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick. 2016. Informal Order and the State in Afghanistan. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cai, Meina, Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, Ilia Murtazashvili, and Hui Wang. 2020. “Sugarcoating the Bitter Pill: Compensation, Land Governance, and Opposition to Land Expropriation in China.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 47(6): 1371–92.
  • Cai, Meina, Ilia Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, and Raufhon Salahodjaev. 2020. “Patience and Climate Change Mitigation: Global Evidence.” Environmental Research 186: 109552.
  • Jochem, Torsten, Ilia Murtazashvili, and Jennifer Murtazashvili. 2020. “Can the Design of Electoral Institutions Improve Perceptions of Democracy in Fragile States? Evidence from Afghanistan.” Journal of Global Security Studies 5(3): 443–62.
  • Cai, Meina, Ilia Murtazashvili, and Jennifer Murtazashvili. 2020. “The Politics of Land Property Rights.” Journal of Institutional Economics 16(2): 151–67.
  • Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick. 2021. “The Endurance and Evolution of Afghan Customary Governance.” Current History 120 (825): 140–45., 1. Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick, July 28, 2021, “Northern Afghanistan Once Kept Out The Taliban. Why Has It Fallen So Quickly This Time?” Washington Post. 
  • Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick, July 12, 2021. “How Will the US Withdrawal from Afghanistan Affect the Countries of Central Asia? Interview with Jennifer Murtazashvili.” Central Asian Bureau for Analytical Reporting. 
  • Expert analysis, October 28, 2020. “Hopes Dim for Reformed Kyrgyzstan as New President Consolidates Power.” Atlantic Council.
  • Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick. October 27, 2020. “Community Before Politics.” Discourse Magazine.
Research Interests
  • Formal and informal political institutions
  • Political economy of development
  • Decentralization and local governance
  • Post-conflict reconstruction