Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Beatty Riedl
United States
Northwestern University
Political Parties, Democratization, Authoritarianism, Historical Institutionalism, Religion and Politics, Regime Transition, Term Limits, Decentralization, Local Governance, Representation, Identity Politics
Media Contact

Personal Info

About Me

Rachel Beatty Riedl is assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University, where she is a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and serves on the Executive Committee of the Program of African Studies. The author of the award-winning Authoritarian Origins of Democratic Party Systems in Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2014), she studies institutional development in new democracies, local governance and decentralization policy, authoritarian regime legacies, and religion and politics, with a regional focus in Sub-Saharan Africa.  A former Kellogg Institute visiting fellow, Yale Program on Democracy Fellow, and Faculty Fulbright Scholar, she holds a PhD from Princeton University. Riedl is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has conducted policy analysis for USAID, the World Bank, the State Department and the Carter Center on issues pertaining to governance, elections, democratic representation and identity politics.

Recent Publications

Authoritarian Origins of Democratic Party Systems in Africa (Cambridge University Press 2014)

“Individualism and Empowerment in Pentecostal Sermons: New Evidence from Nairobi, Kenya”  (with Gwyneth McClendon). African Affairs 2016 115 (458): 119-144.

“Religion as a Stimulant of Political Participation: Evidence from an Experiment in Nairobi, Kenya” (with Gwyneth McClendon). Forthcoming. Journal of Politics 2015 77(4): 1045-1057.

“Political Parties and Uncertainty in Developing Democracies” (with Noam Lupu).  Introduction to a Special Edition on Political Parties in the Developing World.  Comparative Political Studies.

“Party Systems and Decentralization in Africa” (with J. Tyler Dickovick) Studies in Comparative International Development.

“Political Parties and Party Systems”, in the Oxford Handbook on Historical Institutionalism, eds. Tulia Falleti, Orfeo Fioretos, and Adam Sheingate. Forthcoming, Oxford University Press.


Media Coverage

No Separation: Can the Church Calm the Crisis in Burundi?

Are Efforts to Limit Presidential Power in Africa Working?

Vibrant Democracies Emerging From Power Vacuums Give Hope for Burkina Faso

“As Pope Francis calls for compassion toward the poor in Africa, what are African churches doing?” Washington Post

quoted in In Burundi Election, Catholic Church Could be Swing Vote

quoted in “Constitutional coups: How African leaders stay in powerToronto Star


Country Focus
Senegal, Ghana, Benin, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Burkina Faso

Research Areas

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