Steven E. Finkel is Daniel H. Wallace Professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh. His areas of expertise include comparative political behavior, public opinion, democratization, and quantitative methods. Since 1997, he has conducted evaluations of the effectiveness of US and other international donors’ civic education programs in South Africa, Poland, the Dominican Republic, and Kenya. He has also pioneered the use of survey research as an aid to peace negotiations in conflict settings such as Sri Lanka and Kosovo. He is the author of Causal Analysis with Panel Data (Sage Publications, 1995) as well as numerous articles on political participation, voting behavior, and civic education in new and established democracies. Between 2004 and 2007, he conducted the first macro-comparative evaluation of the impact of all USAID democracy assistance programs on democratic development in recipient countries (published in World Politics, 2007). He holds a PhD in political science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and has taught previously at the University of Virginia, Arizona State University, and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany.


Selected Projects of Note

  • Higher Education for Development, “Assessment of USAID Political Parties Strengthening Programs”, Co-Principal Investigator with S. Morgenstern, B. Ames, A. Perez-Linan, L. Picard, and A. Green, 2009-2011.
  • United States Agency for International Development, “The Effects of US Trade Capacity Building and Public Sector Reform Assistance on Trade-Related Outcomes, 1999-2008”, 2009-2010, Co-Principal Investigators, D. Bearce, A. Perez-Linan.
  • United States Agency for International Development, “Deepening our Understanding of the Effects of U.S. Foreign Assistance on Democracy Building”, Co-Principal Investigator with M.A. Seligson, A. Perez-Linan, and C. N. Tate, 2006-2007.
  • United States Agency for International Development, “Kosovo Future Status Process: The 2006 Knowledge-Attitudes-Practices (KAP) Survey,”2006.
  • United States Agency for International Developent, “The Potential for Peace:  The 2004 Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAPS) Survey of Public Attitudes toward the Peace Process in Sri Lanka”, 2004, Co-Principal Investigator, W. Mishler.

Recent Publications

  • S.E. Finkel, J.Horowitz, and R.T. Rojo-Mendoza, “Civic Education and Democratic Backsliding in the Wake of Kenya’s Post-2007 Election Violence”, Journal of Politics, forthcoming.
  • S. E. Finkel and A.E. Smith, “Civic Education, Political Discussion and the Social Transmission of Democratic Knowledge and Values in a New Democracy:  Kenya 2002”, American Journal of Political Science, 55(2), April 2011, 417-435.
  • S.E. Finkel, A. Pérez-Liñán, and M.A. Seligson, ‘The Effects of U.S. Foreign Assistance on Democracy Building, 1990-2003,” World Politics 59(3), April 2007 404-439.
  • S.E. Finkel, “Can Democracy Be Taught?” Journal of Democracy, Vol. 14, October 2003, pp. 137-151.
  • S. E. Finkel and E. N. Muller, “Rational Choice and the Dynamics of Collective Political Action: Evaluating Alternative Models with Panel Data,” American Political Science Review, March 1998, Vol. 92, 37-50.
  • S. E. Finkel, Causal Analysis with Panel Data, Sage University Paper Series on Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences.  Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1995.

Substantive Areas

  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Capacity Building and Public Sector Reform
  • Decentrilization, Subnational Governance, and Civil Society


  • All regions

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