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Publications in VIVO

Alston, Eric Christopher Scholar In Residence


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • My research and teaching is centered in the fields of law and economics and institutional and organizational analysis, which I apply to research questions in the development of rights along frontiers, the design and implementation of constitutions, and questions of legal/institutional transitions more generally. My publications include constitutional design studies and archival historical research into development of property rights in the frontier US West. My current work examines the impact of railroad lands grants on irrigation development, the national characteristics that determine constitutional definition of subnational government, and the development of blockchain governance mechanisms in light of their similarities to constitutional amendment processes. My outreach and service activities include educational materials, and comparative expertise to constitutional drafting processes and peace negotiations worldwide, working with organizations like International IDEA and the UNDP.


  • law and economics, property rights, constitutional drafting, constitutional implementation, legal history, economic history, new institutional economics, institutional analysis, institutional design, comparative constitutional law, property law, water law, blockchain, decentralization, human rights, rights of nature, ecuador, comparative international law, political economy, public choice, decentralization, blockchain, cryptocurrencies


selected publications


courses taught

  • BCOR 1015 - The World of Business
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020
    Provides an overview of the nature business in a global economy. In addition to exploring the economic, governmental, social and environmental context in which businesses operate, students will discover how business creates value and takes advantage of opportunities and challenges. Using examples, cases and projects, students will learn about the business functions in an integrated format. Weekly discussion of current events will focus on entrepreneurship, ethics, international business, business and society, and other topics.
  • FNCE 4828 - Experimental Seminar: Social Institutions: Theory, History and Methods
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Introduces students to the cornerstone institutions of modern developed societies: (i) property rights; (ii) organizations, both public and private; (iii) monetary and financial systems; (iv) political systems; (v) legal systems; and (vi) the cultural underpinnings of economic development. By focusing on how societies agree upon rules to facilitate mutually beneficial outcomes, the course provides a deeper understanding of the economic and legal foundations of democratic market economies. Given this focus on the rules of the game, the course also serves as a great preparation to law school, as well as an introduction to the type of thinking needed to succeed therein.


International Activities

global connections related to teaching and scholarly work (in recent years)

Other Profiles