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Stephen Hanson

Visiting Scholar 2022-2023

Residency Dates: September 1, 2022 - April 30, 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. In 2014, Hanson served as President of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). Hanson holds a Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley and an AB from Harvard University.

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 book project discusses the rise and decline of different regime types, providing a novel evolutionary argument helping 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.


  • Lettie Pate Evans Professor of Government & Faculty Affiliate , William & Mary 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.