Stephen Whitefield

MA DPhil

Professor of Politics, DPIR
Rhodes Pelczynski Tutorial Fellow in Politics, Pembroke College
Government and Politics Network
Pembroke College

After writing my doctorate in 1991 on Soviet political and economic institutions (published as Industrial Power and the Soviet State by Oxford University Press in 1993 - Ed A. Hewett Prizewinner), I have spent the last 20 years studying post-Communist politics and society via mass surveys conducted repeatedly in 13 post-Communist countries. On the way, I became interested in the character of post-Communist and now West European political parties, which I am also investigating (with Robert Rohrschneider at Indiana University, Bloomington) via expert surveys of their stances towards European integration and social inequality. These interests have expanded recently to include an Egyptian election study (in November 2011) and a study of how parties differ among themselves and over time in their emotional appeals to voters.


Russian and more broadly post-Communist comparative politics and societies, democratisation and consolidation, social inequality and its political consequences, political culture, political parties, partisanship and electoral choice.

Current and recent research grants:

Support for Democracy in Egypt: A Crucial Point for the Country, A Crucial Test Case for Comparative Politics. Principal Investigator. ESRC Urgent Grant Support, 2013-15.

Party Representation in Times of Economic Crisis. Principal Investigator with Robert Rohrschneider. John Fell Fund Award, 2013.

The Dynamics of Political Development and its Cultural Expression in Post-Revolutionary Egypt. Principal Investigator, with Masen Hassan. British Academy International Mobility Scheme, 2012.

The 2012 Russian Presidential Election: A National Survey of Russians. Co-Principal Investigator with Paul Chaisty. Internal Oxford University funding.

Party Stances, Citizen Stances and Party Choice in the Founding Democratic Egyptian Election of 2011. Principal Investigator with Mazen Hassan and Elisabeth Kendall, Co-Investigators. Funding from Chris Rokkos and Pembroke College.

We were just using different words to mean the same thing: Exploring the Affective Norms of Political Party Manifestos. Principal Investigator, with Sara Hobolt and Eamonn Molloy. Fell Fund. 2011-12.

My research interests include:

Constitutions, Institutions and Governments, Democracy and Democratic Theory, Comparative Politics and Government , Institutions and organisations, Constitutions and Government, Democracy and Democratisation, Emotions, Equality, Political Parties



  • Introduction to Politics
  • Comparative Government
  • Political Sociology
  • Russian Politics and Government


  • Director of Graduate Research Training, Politics
  • Convenor, Research Design in Comparative Political Science
Stephen Whitefield



Industrial Power and the Soviet State, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1993.

The Strain of Representation. How Parties Represent Diverse Voters (with Robert Rohrschneider). Oxford University Press, Oxford, forthcoming 2013.

Book editor

Public Opinion, Party Competition and the European Union in Eastern Europe, (with Robert Rohrschneider), Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2006.

Political Culture and Post-Communism, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2005.

The New Institutional Architecture of Eastern Europe, Macmillan, London 1993.

Journal articles

‘Support for Environmental Policies: Are Post-Communist Societies (Still) Different?’ (with Paul Chaisty), Environmental Politics, forthcoming, 2015.

‘Media, Cultural Consumption and Political Culture in Post-Revolutionary Egypt’ (with Mazen Hassan and Elisabeth Kendall), Political Studies, forthcoming, 2015.

‘The Salience of European Integration to Party Competition: Western and Eastern Europe Compared’ (with Robert Rohrschneider), East European Politics and Society, forthcoming, 2015. 

‘Rethinking Social Inequality and Why It Matters’ (with Chiara Binelli and Matthew Loveless), World Development, 70, 2015, 239-248. 

Forward to democracy or back to authoritarianism? The attitudinal bases of mass support for the Russian election protests of 2011-12 (with Paul Chaisty),Post-Soviet Affairs, 29 (5), 2013, 387-403.

Social Inequality and Assessments of Democracy and the Market: Evidence from the New Market Democracies of Central and Eastern Europe (with Matthew Loveless),Europe-Asia Studies, 65 (1), 2013, 26-44.

Institutional Context and Representational Strain in Party-Voter Agreement in Western and Eastern Europe (with Robert Rohrschneider),West European Politics, 35 (6), 2012, 1320-1340. [Reprinted in Christine Arnold and Mark N. Franklin eds.,Assessing Political Representation in Europe, Routledge, London, 2013.]

The Political Consequences of Russias Financial Crisis (with Paul Chaisty),Post-Soviet Affairs, 28 (2), 2012, 187-208.

Being Unequal and Seeing Inequality: Explaining the Political Significance of Social Inequality in New Market Democracies (with Matthew Loveless). European Journal of Political Research, 50 (2), 2011, 239-266.

Consistent Choice Sets? The Stances of Political Parties towards European Integration in 10 Central East European Democracies, 2003-2007 (with Robert Rohrschneider), Journal of European Public Policy, 17 (1), 2010, 55-75.

The Europeanization of Political Parties in Central and Eastern Europe? The Impact of EU Entry on Issue Stances, Salience and Programmatic Coherence (with Robert Rohrschneider). Journal of Post-Communist and Transition Studies, 25 (4), 2009, 564-584.

Russian Citizens and Russian Democracy: Perceptions of State Governance and Democratic Practice, 1993-2007. Post-Soviet Affairs, 25 (2), 2009, 1-25.

Representational Consistency: Stability and Change in Political Cleavages in Central and Eastern Europe(with Robert Rohrschneider). Politics and Policy, 37 (5), 2009, 667-690.

Understanding Cleavages in Party Systems: Issue Position and Issue Salience in 13 Post-Communist Democracies (with Robert Rohrschneider), Comparative Political Studies, 42 (2), 2009, 280-313.

Representation and New Democracies: Party Stances on European Integration in Post Communist Eastern Europe (with Robert Rohrschneider), The Journal of Politics, 69 (4), 2007, 1148-1161.

Do Expert Surveys Produce Consistent Estimates of Party Stances on European Integration? Comparing Expert Surveys in the Difficult Case of Central and Eastern Europe (with Milada Anna Vachudova, Marco Steenbergen, Robert Rohrschneider, Gary Marks, Paul Loveless, Liesbet Hooghe), Electoral Studies, forthcoming 2006.

Mind the Representation Gap: Explaining Differences in Public Views of Representation in Post-Communist Democracies, Comparative Political Studies, 40 (6), August 2006, forthcoming.

Political Parties, Public Opinion and European Integration in Post-Communist Countries: the State of the Art (with Robert Rohrschneider), European Union Politics, 7(1), 2006, 141-160.

Explaining the Emergence and Persistence of Class Voting in Post-Soviet Russia, 1993-2001 (with G. Evans), Political Research Quarterly, 59 (1), 2006, 23-34.

Support for Foreign Ownership and Integration in Eastern Europe: Economic Interests, Ideological Commitments and Democratic Context (with Robert Rohrschneider), Comparative Political Studies, 37, 2004, 313-339.

Russian Mass Attitudes Toward the Environment, 1993-2001, Post-Soviet Affairs, 19, 2003, 95-113.

Political Cleavages and Post-Communist Politics, Annual Review of Political Science, 5, 2002, 181-200.

The Political Economy of Targeting and Poverty Alleviation in Ukraine, Post-Soviet Affairs, 18, 2002, 71-97. (Reprinted in Wsevolod W Isajiw ed., Social Change in Ukraine in Western Perspectives. Toronto, Canadian Scholars Press, 2003, 401-426.)

Socialno-klassoviy faktor politicheskogo povedeniya v Rossii (The Social Class Factor in Political Behaviour in Russia) (with G. Evans), Sotsiologicheskie Issledovanie, 2, 2000.

Class, Markets and Partisanship in Post-Soviet Russia: 1993-96 (with G. Evans), Electoral Studies, 18, 1999, 155-78.

Political Culture versus Rational Choice: Explaining Responses to Transition in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (with G. Evans), British Journal of Political Science, 29, 1999, 129-55.

The Evolution of Left and Right in Post-Soviet Russia (with G. Evans), Europe-Asia Studies, 45, 1998, 1023-42.

The Structuring of Political Cleavages in Post-communist Societies: The Case of the Czech and Slovak Republics (with G. Evans), Political Studies, 46, 1998, 115-39.

Support for Democracy and Political Opposition in Russia, 1993 and 1995 (with G. Evans), Post-Soviet Affairs, 12, 1996, 218-242.

Economic Ideology and Political Success: Communist-successor Parties in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary Compared (with G. Evans), Party Politics, 1, 1995, 565-578.

Social and Ideological Cleavage Formation in Hungary (with G. Evans), Europe-Asia Studies, 47, 1995, 1177-1204.

The Politics and Economics of Democratic Commitment: Support for Democracy in Transition Societies (with G. Evans), British Journal of Political Science 25, 1995, 485-514. (Reproduced in Pippa Norris, ed. (1998). Elections and Voting Behaviour, Aldershot: Ashgate. And in Stephen White and Daniel Nelson, eds (2001). The Politics of the Post Communist World, Vol II., in The International Library of Politics and Comparative Government, Ashgate, Aldershot.)

The Russian Election of 1993: Public Opinion and the Transition Experience (with G. Evans), Post-Soviet Affairs, 10, 1994, 38-60.

Identifying the Bases of Party Competition in Eastern Europe (with G. Evans), British Journal of Political Science, 23 (4), 1993, 521-548. (Reprinted in Stephen White and Daniel Nelson eds (2001). The Politics of the Post Communist World, Vol I., in The International Library of Politics and Comparative Government, Aldershot: Ashgate.)

Book chapters

The Study of Communist and Post-Communist Politics (with Archie Brown) in Christopher Hood, Desmond King and Gillian Peele (eds.),Forging a Discipline: A Critical Assessment of Oxfords Development of Politics and IR in Comparative Perspective, Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2014.

Social Inequality: its character, how it is perceived, and the implications of its perceptions for social and political stability (with Matthew Loveless and Chiara Binelli), in I.I. Eliseeva et al eds.,Social Inequality in Postsocialist Countries of Central and Eastern Europe: A Sociological Analysis, Nestor Historia: Moscow, 2011, 15-32.

Political Parties, Public Opinion and European Integration. The Theoretical Backdrop (with Robert Rohrschneider), in Robert Rohrschneider and Stephen Whitefield eds., Public Opinion, Party Competition and the European Union in Eastern Europe, Palgrave, 2006.

Conclusion. The Political Consequences of Post-Communist Accession (with Robert Rohrschneider), in Robert Rohrschneider and Stephen Whitefield eds., Public Opinion, Party Competition and the European Union in Eastern Europe, Palgrave, 2006.

Between East and West: Attitudes towards Political and Economic Integration in Russia and Ukraine, 1993-2001, in Robert Rohrschneider and Stephen Whitefield eds., Public Opinion, Party Competition and the European Union in Eastern Europe, Palgrave, 2006.

Support for European Integration in the Baltic States (with Robert Rohrschneider and Rasa Alisauskene), in Robert Rohrschneider and Stephen Whitefield eds., Public Opinion, Party Competition and the European Union in Eastern Europe, Palgrave, 2006.

Political Culture and Post-Communism, in Stephen Whitefield ed., Political Culture and Post-Communism, St Antonys Series, Palgrave-Macmillan, London, 2005, pp. 1-14

Culture, Experience, and State Identity: A Survey-Based Analysis of Russians, 1995-2003, in Stephen Whitefield ed., Political Culture and Post-Communism, St Antonys Series, Palgrave-Macmillan, London, 2005, pp 125-147.

Putins Popularity and Its Implications for Democracy in Russia, in Alex Pravda ed., Leading Russia: Putin in Perspective, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005, pp. 139-160.

Attitudes Towards the West, Democracy and the Market (with G. Evans), in Jan Zielonka and Alex Pravda eds., Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe Volume 2: International and Transnational Factors, Vol.2, Oxford, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2001, pp.231-254.

Partisan and Party Divisions in Post-Communist Russia in Archie Brown (ed.), Contemporary Russian Politics: A Reader, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2001, pp.235-246.

Explaining the Formation of Electoral Cleavages in Post-Communist Democracies (with G. Evans), in H-D. Klingemann, E. Mochmann and K. Newton eds., Elections in Central and Eastern Europe: The First Wave, Sigma, Berlin, 2000, pp.36-70.

The emergence of class politics and class voting in post-communist Russia, (with G. Evans), in Evans, G. ed., The End of Class Politics? Class Voting in Comparative Context, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999, pp.254-280.

The Emerging Structure of Partisan Divisions in Russian Politics (with G. Evans), in M. Wyman, S. White and S. Oates eds., Elections and Voters in Post-Communist Russia, Edward Elgar, London, 1998, pp.68-99

Electoral Politics in Eastern Europe: Social and Ideological Influences on Partisanship in Post-Communist Societies (with G. Evans), in J. Higley, J. Pakulski and W. Wesolowski eds., Postcommunist Elites and Democracy in Eastern Europe, Macmillan, , London, 1998, pp.226-50.

Oxford Concise Dictionary of Politics, Iain McLean ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996 (second edition 2003). (Entries on the Afghan War, apparat, autonomous republic, Bonapartism, Bukharin, collective leadership, collectivisation, Commonwealth of Independent States, communism, Communist Party, contradiction, democratic centralism, dialectical materialism, historical materialism, KGB, Khrushchev, kulak, NEP, nomenklatura, peoples democracy, perestroika, Politburo, Russian Revolution 1991, Solidarity, Soviet Union, Stakhanovism, Stalinism, Supreme Soviet, Titoism, totalitarianism. Total words = 7,845.)

Social Responses to Reform in Russia in D. Lane ed., Russia in Transition. Politics, Privatisation and Inequality, Longman, London, 1995, pp.91-118.

The Ministerial System in Archie Brown, Michael Kaser and Gerald S. Smith eds., The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, pp.353-59.

Russia in S. Whitefield ed., The New Institutional Architecture of Eastern Europe, Macmillan, London 1993, pp.143-161.