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MU 109N

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Area Group(s)

  • Development Studies


  • B.A., Harvard University
  • M.A., University of California, Berkeley
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Lucan A. Way



Cited more than fifteen thousand times, Way’s research focuses on global patterns of democracy and dictatorship. His most recent book (with Steven Levitsky), Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism (Princeton University Press, 2022) provides a comparative historical explanation for the extraordinary durability of autocracies (China, Cuba, USSR) born of violent social revolution. The book was one of TIME magazine’s 33 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2022 and has been featured on CBC’s “The Current,” as well as in The Washington Post, and Foreign Affairs. Way’s solo-authored book, Pluralism by Default: Weak Autocrats and the Rise of Competitive Politics (Johns Hopkins, 2015), examines the sources of political competition in the former Soviet Union. Way argues that pluralism in the developing world often emerges out of authoritarian weakness: governments are too fragmented and states too weak to monopolize political control. His first book, Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War (with Steven Levitsky), was published in 2010 by Cambridge University Press. Way’s work on competitive authoritarianism helped stimulate new and wide-ranging research into the dynamics of hybrid democratic-authoritarian rule. Professor Way is now under contract with Princeton University Press to write a book (with Levitsky) on the resilience of pluralism in an age of backsliding.

Research Interests

  • Regime Change
  • Hybrid Regimes
  • Weak States
  • Fiscal and Social Reform
  • Corruption
  • Comparative Politics of Developing Countries
  • Post-Communist Politics

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Recent Publications