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Renske Doorenspleet

Associate Professor in Comparative Politics
Director, Centre for Studies in Democratization 
Course Director, MA in Research in Politics & International Studies 


Renske Doorenspleet joined the Department at Warwick in 2006. She is Programme Director for the MA in Research in Politics & International Studies, and Director of the Centre for Studies in Democratization. She was mainly educated in the Netherlands, undertook a PhD in political science at Leiden University, and received several national and international awards for her work. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University (USA) , she started a research project on democracy in divided countries, which was funded by the Dutch National Science Foundation. Renske's general research interests are in democratic transitions and consolidation, political institutions, party systems in Africa, quantitative and qualitative methodology.

Current Research Projects

Renske's previous research has focused on theoretical and empirical explanations of recent transitions to democracy around the world. Based on her work, she was asked to advise a.o. the UK's Foreign Office, but she also worked with theatre goups to create new shows, click here and here. She is now interested in how democratized countries are actually functioning, thereby working on the following research projects:

How People View Democracy -

and the effects of democratization

in comparative perspective

One-Party Dominant

Party Systems in Africa

Political Institutions

in Divided Societies




Teaching and Supervision

Renske currently teaches on the second-year undergraduate module 'Core Issues in Comparative Politics' and the postgraduate module 'Comparative Politics'. In the past, she taught modules ranging from 'Statistics, Data Collection and Analyses' and 'Introduction to Research Methods' and 'Development and Democratisation.' During the academic year 2011-2012, she got an academic fellowship and grant of the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning, in order to innovate teaching; this resulted in the on-going project 'What, why democracy? Research and Film Projects about Democracy: Students, Academics and Filmmakers United.'

Renske is currently first supervisor of PhD students who are working on 'building political institutions in divided societies: the case of Iraq' , 'elites and democratic consolidation in Colombia and Venezuela', 'opposition parties in Burkina Faso and Uganda', 'political transition processes in Egypt and Tunisia' and 'explaining deviant autocracies in Asia'. She is second supervisor of other PhD projects on political participation in Libya, on the Bosnian diaspora, and the Iraqi diaspora.


Renske has published a number of chapters in academic books and articles in international journals such as in World Politics, Democratization, Acta Politica, the International Political Science Review, Ethnopolitics, Government and Opposition and the European Journal of Political Research. Her first book Democratic Transitions: Exploring the Structural Sources of the Fourth Wave (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2005) focused on theoretical and empirical explanations of recent transitions to democracy around the world. Together with Lia Nijzink (Cape Town University), she is editor of One-Party Dominance in African Democracies (Lynne Rienner, 2013) and Political Parties, Party Systems and Democracy in Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) which have been very well received by critics (see e.g. the recent book review in PoP, September 2015). At the moment, she is working on the following articles 1) one-party dominance in Africa 2) political institutions in divided societies. Finally, she is working on a new book, which will explore the effects of democratization in comparative perspective.

 renske doorenspleet

Associate Professor Comparative Politics

Room: E1.12 (Social Sciences)
Tel: 024765 22169
Advice and Feedback Hours: Th 11.30-12.30 & Fri 12.30-13.30 (please first send an email to make an appointment)


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