Ryan Saylor, Ph.D. - The University of Tulsa
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Ryan Saylor, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Political Science


Ryan Saylor is associate professor of political science at The University of Tulsa. He joined the faculty at TU after receiving his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. Saylor specializes in comparative politics, with an emphasis on the development of modern states. His new book manuscript is “Creditor Coalitions and State Formation in Europe” (currently under review). It argues that the growing power of creditors promoted two key institutional transformations in early modern Europe: greater state control over tax institutions and a movement toward merit-based standards in bureaucracies. The book manuscript uses econometric methods and case studies to analyze these changes. Saylor’s first book is “State Building in Boom Times: Commodities and Coalitions in Latin America and Africa” (Oxford University Press, 2014). The book examines how the politics surrounding exporting affects state formation by comparing three Latin American (Argentina, Chile, and Colombia) and three African (Ghana, Mauritius, and Nigeria) countries. Saylor has also published on qualitative research methods, including on case selection, comparative area studies, measurement, and Weberian ideal types.


  • Ph.D., University of Virginia
  • M.A., University of Virginia
  • B.A., Miami University

Research interests and areas of expertise

  • Comparative Politics
  • State Building and State Formation
  • Bureaucracy
  • Taxation
  • Political Coalitions
  • Public Goods Provision
  • The Resource Curse
  • Cross-regional research
  • Qualitative research methods