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Stephen Hanson

Visiting Scholar 2022-2023

Residency Dates: September 1, 2022 - May 15, 2023


Stephen Hanson

Stephen E. Hanson is the Lettie Pate Evans Professor in the Department of Government at The College of William & Mary. Previously he served as William & Mary’s Vice Provost for International Affairs (2011-2022) and Vice Provost for Global Affairs at the University of Washington. He has authored, co-authored, or co-edited five books and dozens of articles analyzing Russian, Soviet, and post-communist politics in comparative and historical perspective. Hanson served as President of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) in 2014.

During his time at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES), Hanson will complete a new book manuscript with the working title "The Evolution of Regimes." This project discusses the rise and decline of different regime types, providing a novel evolutionary argument to explain a range of disparate phenomena such as the success of European political and economic development in the modern era; the emergence of fascist and Leninist regimes in the 20th century; the collapse of the Soviet bloc; and the unexpected global resurgence of patrimonial rule in the 21st century.

Hanson holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and an AB from Harvard University.

This information is accurate for the time period that the visiting scholar is affiliated with CES.


  • Lettie Pate Evans Professor of Government & Faculty Affiliate, Global Research Institute, The College of William & Mary
  • Visiting Scholar 2022-2023, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University

Research Project

The evolution of political regimes


Political Science

Areas of Expertise

Post-Communist Politics
Russian Politics
Comparative Politics

Select Publications

Hanson, Stephen E., and Jeffrey S. Kopstein. “Understanding the Global Patrimonial Wave.” Perspectives on Politics 20, no. 1 (2021): 237–49.

Bernhard, Michael, Venelin I. Ganev, Anna Grzymała-Busse, Stephen E. Hanson, Yoshiko M. Herrera, Dmitrii Kofanov, and Anton Shirikov. “Weasel Words and the Analysis of ‘Postcommunist’ Politics: A Symposium.” East European Politics and Societies: and Cultures 34, no. 2 (2020): 283–325.

Hanson, Stephen E. “Objective and Subjective Time in Comparative Politics.” The Oxford Handbook of Time and Politics, 2019.