David Leblang

Fast Facts

  • Director, Global Policy Center, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
  • Studies global migration and international investment and the spread of democracy
  • Expertise in international political economy, politics, economic policy, financial crises

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Immigration
  • Economic Issues
  • Finance and Banking
  • Trade
  • Political Parties and Movements

David Leblang, faculty senior fellow, is the Ambassador Henry J. Taylor and Mrs. Marion R. Taylor Endowed Professor of Politics. He is also the Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor at the Miller Center, and professor of public policy at the University's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, where he is director of the Global Policy Center. 

A scholar in the area of international political economy, he is currently working on two major projects. The first is a book-length study of the role that global migration plays in linking host and home countries and how these linkages help explain observed patterns of international investment, remittance flows, and the spread of democracy. The second project is related but focuses on the destination choices of refugees and illegal migrants. Prior to studying flows of migrants and refugees, Leblang's projects were in the area of global capital flows: the causes and consequences of exchange rate arrangements, capital controls, and currency crises. His work has been published in outlets such as the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political ScienceInternational OrganizationWorld Politics and Economics and Politics. He currently serves on the steering committee of the International Political Economy Society and is the editor of SSRN's International Political Economy Migration eJournal.

Prior to arriving at the University of Virginia in 2008, Leblang held teaching positions at the University of Colorado, the University of North Texas, and the College of William and Mary. He has been a visiting scholar in the research department of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission's Directorate of Economics and Finance, and has been a visiting fellow at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, the Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano in Milan, and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. In 2015, Leblang was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award by the University of Virginia and in 2016 he received the Outstanding Mentoring Award from the Society of Women in International Political Economy of the International Studies Association.

David Leblang News Feed

Liz Ivaniw Jones Darden School of Business
U.S. border control policy—notably the deportation of criminal offenders back to their countries of origin—has played a critical role in the spread of violence in Latin America.
David Leblang The Crime Report
When criminals return to their home countries, violent crime rates go up and more people flee—immigrating to the United States.
Since taking office, President Trump has shown a firm commitment to reducing the number of immigrants in the United States, in keeping with his campaign promises. Some of his attempts toward this end have run into difficulties, as with the border wall and the family separation policy. But others have been successful. In particular, by refusing to extend a federal program known as temporary protected status (TPS), the Trump administration has terminated legal protection for nearly half a million immigrants from Sudan and Central America.
David Leblang The Washington Post
The Trump administration continues to push for large cuts to foreign aid, prompting sharp criticism from lawmakers as well as former military leaders. The president also calls for U.S. aid to focus on “friends,” despite widespread criticism of this proposed change. Unlike these much-discussed policy proposals, there has been little public focus on the possibility that the government will reallocate aid to address migration concerns at the expense of other policy priorities. Yet this is a likely outcome, in the United States and across many donor countries.
David Leblang Washington Post
The 1896 US presidential election has acquired new resonance in the wake of the 2016 electoral victory of Donald Trump and in light of the up-surge in populism more generally (e.g. Guiso et al. 2017, Dustman et al. 2017). To face off against a Republican establishment candidate, William McKinley, the Democrats nominated a political outsider, William Jennings Bryan. In doing so they sought to capitalise on the ‘populist revolt’ of farmers and workers, who blamed their economic plight on wealthy businessmen, railroad monopolies, Eastern bankers, and distant politicians.
David Leblang Vox EU