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 most recent 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.
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