November 22, 2016
Darla Moore School of Business professor Stanislav Markus has won this year’s Stein Rokkan Prize for his 2015 book on what he considers the “single most important factor for economic development and business success at the country level” — secure property rights.
The book, titled “Property, Predation, and Protection: Piranha Capitalism in Russia and Ukraine,” examines whether threats to secure property rights in Eastern Europe are organized and which rights in particular are being threatened, income rights or ownership rights. What is unique about his book ‘s approach is that rather than looking at the problem from the perspective of the state or multinational corporations, he took the perspective of smaller, domestic businesses because they can’t just pick up and leave that market if they’re being treated unfairly.
Through the roughly 10 years of interviews and research Markus did for the book, he found that, under certain conditions, firms can secure property rights themselves even when they are faced with a predatory state.
Markus is already two years into his next book project: an examination of extreme wealth stratification. In this research, he hopes to find how super-rich business owners survive in politically competitive environments where their rights aren’t always politically protected. Considering how long it takes to compile the information for a book, he is still in the beginning stage. Winning this book prize, he said, is “a nice encouragement to stick with it.”
“I am honored to get this kind of recognition and join the distinguished scholars who have won the prize in the past,” he said.
By Madeleine Vath