Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Renske Doorenspleet

Associate Professor in Comparative Politics
& academic leader of 'The Politics of Hope' (annual theme 2018/19 of GRP's International Development)


Renske Doorenspleet received her MA and Ph.D. in political science from Leiden University, and her theses received several awards (e.g. the "Els Witte Jaarprijs Politicologie" and the "Daniƫl Heinsiusprijs" of the NKWP, and the "Carl Beck Award" of the International Studies Association). 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 joined the Department at Warwick in 2006. Her general research interests are in democratic transitions and consolidation, political institutions, party systems in Africa, quantitative and qualitative methodology.

Current Research Projects

Renske's 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 groups to create new shows, click here and here. She is now interested in how democratized countries are actually functioning, and her new book 'Rethinking the Value of Democracy' has just been published (Palgrave, 2018).


Renske currently teaches on the second-year undergraduate module 'Core Issues in Comparative Politics' (term 1-3) and the postgraduate modules 'Democratisation and Development' (term 1) and 'The Value of Democracy' (term 2). In the past, she taught modules ranging from 'Statistics, Data Collection and Analyses' and 'Introduction to Research Methods' and 'Social Movements in Comparative Perspective.' She received an academic fellowship and grant of the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning, for innovative teaching, which resulted in the on-going project 'What, why democracy? Research and Film Projects about Democracy: Students, Academics and Filmmakers United.'

PhD Supervision

So far, Renske Doorenspleet has supervised seven PhD projects to completion across a wide range of topics in Comparative Politics (click here). At the moment, she is first supervisor of three PhD students who are working on 'opposition parties in Burkina Faso and Uganda', on 'politics of constitution-making in Egypt and Tunisia' and on 'post-liberation state-building in Algeria'. She has also acted as an external examiner for PhD theses in the UK and internationally (i.e. in Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and South Africa).

Renske is available to undertake PhD supervision in any areas that interconnect with her own research interests. She particularly welcomes PhD students with interests in democracy and freedom, popular participation and political institutions, people's views around democratization, and trends towards authoritarianism around the globe. For information about Renske's supervision of PhD and postdoctoral projects (past and current), click here.


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.

 renske doorenspleet

Associate Professor Comparative Politics

Room: E1.12 (Social Sciences)
Tel: 024 765 22169
Advice and Feedback Hours: Thursdays 13.30-14.30 & Fridays 13.30-14.30 (please first send an email to make an appointment)


More about Renske's...