Dr. Mohammad Qadam Shah is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Governance and Markets at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests focus on the political economy of state building, development management, corruption, as well as policy analysis and program evaluation. He is particularly interested in the politics of institutional design and institutional change in states affected by conflict.
Qadam Shah received his Ph.D. in Law (with distinction in 2019) from the University of Washington. His dissertation, Politics, Intergovernmental Relations, and Public Finance Reforms in Fragile States: The Case of Afghanistan, demonstrates how vast amounts of foreign aid did little to create a viable system of public finance management in Afghanistan. Instead, technocratic reforms—readopting the pre-existing centralized public finance system—proved only window dressing that enabled the Afghan government to reward friends and punish foes through the distribution of public funds. He holds an L.L.M from the University of Washington where he concentrated on Comparative Constitutional Law.
He is working on several papers on the political economy of budget allocation based on his dissertation as well as papers on anti-corruption efforts in Afghanistan and beyond. He is also collaborating with Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili on a book that explores the consequences of centralized, Soviet-influenced governance institutions on conflict and state-building in Afghanistan as well as Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and Iraq.
Since 2015, Qadam Shah has served as an Assistant Professor at the School of Law and Political Science at Balkh University in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan where he taught courses on Constitutional Law, Local Governance, and Development and Modernization. He has extensive experience with the Afghan legal system and has worked with a host of international aid organizations.