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My first book, Redeeming the Communist Past(2002), analyzes the paradox of the communist successor parties in East Central Europe: incompetent as authoritarian rulers of the communist party-state, several then succeeded as democratic competitors after the collapse of these communist regimes in 1989. Elite portable skills and usable pasts acquired under authoritarian rule allowed these parties to reinvent themselves as capable democrats.

Rebuilding Leviathan (2007) investigates the role of political parties and party competition in the reconstruction of the post-communist state. Unless checked by a robust competition, democratic governing parties simultaneously rebuilt the state and ensured their own survival by building in enormous discretion into new state institutions.

My third book project, Nations Under God (2015) examines why some churches have been able to wield enormous policy influence. Others have failed to do so, even in very religious countries. Where religious and national identities have historically fused, churches gained great moral authority, and subsequently covert and direct access to state institutions. It is this institutional access, rather than either partisan coalitions or electoral mobilization, that allows some churches to become so powerful.



Beyond War and Contracts: The Medieval and Religious Roots of the European State, Annual Review of Political Science, 2020. pdf

The consequences of authoritarian party exit and reinvention for democratic competition, Comparative Political Studies, September 2020. pdf

Populism, for the "Weasel Words" Symposium, East European Politics and Societies, Spring 2020. pdf

How Populists Rule: Consequences for Democratic Governance. pdf. Introduction. pdf. Conclusion. pdf for the "European Populism in Global Perspective" Symposium. Polity, October 2019. 

Hoist on their own petards?  The reinvention and collapse of authoritarian successor parties, Party Politics, July 2019. pdf

Making Godly Nations: Church-State Pathways in Poland and the Philippines (with Dan Slater), Comparative Politics, July 2018. pdf

The Difficulty with Doctrine, Government and Opposition, April 2016. pdf

Weapons of the Meek: How Churches Influence Public Policy, World Politics, January 2016. pdf

Thy Will Be Done? Religious Nationalism and Its Policy Effects, East European Politics and Societies,May 2015. pdf

Good Clubs and Community Support: Explaining the Growth of Strict Religions Journal of Church and State, 2013. pdf

Why are there are (Almost) No Post-Communist Christian Democratic Parties? Party Politics, 19, 2: 2013. pdf   

Why Comparative Politics Needs to take Religion More Seriously,  Annual Review of Political Science, 2012. pdf   

Time Will Tell? Temporality and the Analysis of Causal Mechanisms, Comparative Political Studies, September 2011. pdf

The Best-Laid Plans: The Impact of Informal Rules on Formal Institutions in Transitional Regimes, Studies in Comparative International Development, September 2010. pdf 

Beyond Clientelism: Incumbent Capture and State Building, Comparative Political Studies, April/ May 2008. pdf

The Great Divide: Precommunist Schooling and Postcommunist Transitions, (with Keith Darden), World Politics October 2006. pdf

Encouraging Effective Democratic Competition, East European Politics and Societies, Winter 2007. pdf 

The Discreet Charm of Formal Institutions: Post-Communist Party Competition and State Oversight, Comparative Political Studies, April 2006. pdf

Authoritarian Determinants of Democratic Party Competition, Party Politics, April/ May 2006. pdf 

Political Competition and the Politicization of the State, Comparative Political Studies, December 2003. pdf 

Great Expectations: the EU and domestic political competition in East Central Europe, (with Abby Innes), East European Politics and Societies, Special Issue on EU Enlargement, Winter 2003. pdf

Re-conceptualizing the State: Lessons from Post-Communism, (with Pauline Jones Luong), Politics and Society, Special Issue on Reconceptualizing the State (co-edited with Pauline Jones Luong), December 2002. pdf

The Programmatic Turnaround of Communist Successor Parties in East Central Europe, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, March 2002. pdf

Coalition Formation and the Regime Divide in East Central Europe, Comparative Politics, October 2001. pdf  

The Organizational Strategies of Communist Parties in East Central Europe, 1945-1989, East European Politics and Societies, Fall 2001. pdf

Reform Efforts in the Czech and Slovak Communist Parties and their Successors, 1988-1993, East European Politics and Societies, Vol. 12, No. 3: Fall 1998. pdf