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Richard F. Doner

Goodrich C. White Professor Emeritus, Emory University
Chapter Leader: Georgia SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Richard

Doner’s academic work focuses on variation in economic development, especially upgrading and innovation, as a function of institutions (such as business associations and public-private sector networks), and politics (cabinet changes, resource endowments, crises). Although his geographical focus is Southeast Asia, the interaction of markets and institutions is relevant to U.S. cases, such as the emergence of an auto cluster in Greenville, SC. Doner’s civic involvement has included decade-long participation in a school mentoring program; organization of and participation in Emory activities related to citizenship, race, democracy and labor; and extensive participation in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 presidential campaigns, including the creation of a "speakers bureau" to engage rural Georgia voters.


School Readiness and Equal Opportunity Start at Birth

  • Kirsten Widner

How Recent Changes in Voting Laws Threaten Equal Rights in Georgia - And Beyond

  • Daniel Amsterdam
  • Jonathan Schneer

In the News

"Building Ties Across the Dinner Table," Richard F. Doner, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , January 10, 2024.
"Opinion: Multistate System Helps Secure Georgians’ Votes," Richard F. Doner, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 16, 2023.
Guest to discuss Free and Fair on On the Media /WNYC Studios, Richard F. Doner, November 4, 2022.
"Voter Challenges Have Troubling History in Ga.," Richard F. Doner, Opinion, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 20, 2022.
"Professor: Learning America’s Ugly Racial History Can Inspire, Not Scar, Our Children," Richard F. Doner, Opinion, Savannah Morning News, November 17, 2021.
"What Jeff Foxworthy (and Social Science) Can Teach Us About Voting Rights," Richard F. Doner (with Jennifer L. McCoy), The Telegraph, November 12, 2020.
"Science under Siege," Richard F. Doner (with with Harry Findley and colleagues), The Emory Wheel, October 27, 2006.
"Incompetence in Iraq," Richard F. Doner (with Alex Hicks), The Emory Wheel, October 20, 2006.
"Thai Military Overthrows Government, Declares Martial Law," Richard F. Doner, Interview with Jeffrey Brown, PBS NewsHour, September 19, 2006.
"Our Communities, Ourselves," Richard F. Doner (with Gregory Galant), The Emory Wheel, January 20, 2004.
"Watching Alone," Richard F. Doner, The Emory Wheel, September 10, 2002.


"Promoting Development in the Black Belt Region: A Plan for the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission," (with Charles Hankla, Veronica L. Womack, Gloria Bromell Tinubu, and Michael J. Rich), Southeast Crescent Regional Commission, May 2022.

Explores the recent creation of the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission (SCRC), the context in which it must operate, and the lessons it can learn from prior efforts. Highlights the critical role of defining and identifying distressed communities for the proper functioning of the commission, using Georgia as a critical case study. Presents a series of recommendations for the SCRC, each targeted at maximizing the commission's impact on the community and economic development throughout the region.

"The Political Challenge of Innovation in the Developing World" (with Allen Hicken and Bryan Ritchie). Review of Policy Research 26, no. 1 (2009): 151-171.
Shows how external security threats and popular mobilization influence political support for innovation.
"The Politics of Uneven Development: Thailand’s Economic Growth in Comparative Perspective" (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Shows the ways in which variation in popular and external pressures influence politics, institutions, and economic performance.
"University-Industry Linkages and Economic Development: The Case of Thailand" (with Peter Brimble). World Development 35, no. 6 (2006): 1021-1036.
Describes and explains the weakness of ties between universities and business.
"Systemic Vulnerability and the Origins of Developmental States: Northeast and Southeast Asia in Comparative Perspective" (with Bryan Ritchie and Dan Slater). International Organization 59, no. 2 (2005).
Explains development differences between Northeast and Southeast Asia with an emphasis on external threats, popular pressures and resource endowments.
"From Silicon Valley to Singapore: Location and Competitive Advantages in the Disk Drive Industry" (with David McKendrick and Stephan Haggard) (Stanford University Press, 2000).
Uses institutional capacities and political pressures to explain the shift of hard disk drive manufacturing from the U.S. to Southeast Asia and the variation in technological capacity within Southeast Asia.