Federica Carugati is the associate director of the Ostrom Workshop and a visiting assistant professor in the Political Science Department and Maurer School of Law at IU Bloomington.

Her research focuses on two main topics: first, the development of political, legal, and economic institutions in pre-modern, citizen-centered, open-access governments; second, the lessons that the emergence, configuration, and breakdown of such institutions may hold for rethinking institution building in today’s developing world.

Federica is currently working on a book project based on her dissertation and titled, “The Athenian Constitution: Law, Democratic Stability, and Economic Growth in 4th Century BCE Athens.” The book analyzes the impact of legal innovation on democratic governance and economic performance in Classical Athens. 

Among her current and future projects, Federica is investigating the role of centralized and decentralized dispute resolution mechanisms in Sierra Leone, and laying the groundwork for a world history of open access societies, including ancient republics, early modern city-states, and contemporary democracies.


  • Spring 2018: Law Without the State (LAW B748)
  • Spring 2017: Making Democracy Work (POLS Y212)
  • Fall 2016: Institutional Analysis: Concepts and Applications (POLS Y673, ECON E724, SPEA P710)


Book Chapters

  • Carugati, F., and B. R. Weingast. 2018. “Rethinking Mass and Elite: Decision-Making in the Athenian Law-Courts.” In Ancient Greek History and Contemporary Social Science. Edinburgh University Press.

Blog Posts

Book Reviews

  • Ober, J. 2016. The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece, Princeton University Press, in Perspectives on Politics 14(4).
  • Saxonhouse, A. 2006. Free Speech and Democracy in Ancient Athens, Cambridge University Press, in Il Pensiero Politico: Rivista di Storia delle Idee Politiche e Sociali 41(2): 2008.

Working Papers

  • Carugati, F., “Constitution and Coordination: Behavior, Institutions, and Institutional Change in Ancient Athens.”
  • “Supply and Demand in Processes of State Formation: Evidence from Ancient Greece” (with Mark Pyzyk).
  • “The Institutional Foundations of Athenian Resilience: Trade, Law, and Recovery from the Peloponnesian War” (with Andrew Hanssen and Robert Fleck).
  • Carugati, F., R. Calvert, and B. Weingast, “Constitutional Litigation in Ancient Athens: Judicial Review by the People Themselves.”
  • Carugati, F., G. Hadfield, and B. Weingast, “Achieving Inclusion: Extending Access to the Rule of Law in Ancient Athens.”
  • Carugati, F., J. Ober, and B. Weingast, “Is Development Uniquely Modern? Athens on the Doorstep.”