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.


PhD Classics, Stanford University, 2015
MA Political Science, Stanford University, 2015
MA Political Philosophy, Università di Bologna, Italy, 2009
BA Philosophy, Università di Bologna, Italy, 2005



Blog Posts

Working Papers

  • Carugati, F., “Constitution and Coordination: Behavior, Institutions, and Institutional Change in Ancient Athens.”
  • 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.”
  • Carugati, F., R. Calvert, and B. Weingast, “Constitutional Litigation in Ancient Athens: Judicial Review by the People Themselves.”
  • Carugati, F., and B. Weingast, “Rethinking Mass and Elite: A New Model of Athenian Litigation.”