Skip to main content

Rachel Beatty Riedl

Associate Professor

B.A.: University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2000; Ph.D.: Princeton University, 2008
Curriculum Vitae


Research Interest(s): Comparative Democratization; Political Party Systems and Democratic Institutions; Decentralization and Local Governance; Authoritarian Legacies; Religion and Politics

Program Area(s): Comparative Politics

Regional Specialization(s): Africa

Subfield Specialties: Comparative Historical Analysis; Political Parties

Joint Appointment

Program of African Studies


Rachel Beatty Riedl’s research interests include institutional development in new democracies, local governance and decentralization policy, and authoritarian regime legacies, with a regional focus in Sub-Saharan Africa.  She is a faculty associate at the Institute for Policy Research and the Program on Equality, Development and Globalization Studies and serves on the Executive Committee of the Program of African Studies. She is a co-founder of the Political Parties Working Group at Northwestern University and is actively engaged in the Comparative Historical Social Sciences research cluster.  Previously, she was a visiting fellow at the Yale Program on Democracy, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. Her newest project focuses on the role of religious actors in politics.

Select PublicationsBook cover: Authoritarian Origins of Democratic Party Systems in Africa by Rachel Riedl

Courses taught

  • Intro to Comparative Politics (250)
  • African Politics
  • Inequality and Representation (395)
  • Religion and Politics (390 or 395)
Back to top