ResidenceBrookline, Massachusetts, USA InstitutionsHarvard University (2000–Present) Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley (Ph.D)
Stanford University (B.A.) BooksCompetitive authoritarianism, Transforming labor-based parties in Latin America EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley, Stanford University Known forIlliberal democracy, Institution
Steven levitsky competitive authoritarianism
Steven Levitsky (born January 17, 1968) is an American political scientist and Professor of Government at Harvard University. A comparative political scientist, his research interests focus on Latin America and include political parties and party systems, authoritarianism and democratization, and weak and informal institutions. He is notable for his work on competitive authoritarian regimes and informal political institutions.
At Harvard, Levitsky also serves on the Executive Committees of both the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. He has taught at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
Steven levitsky polit logo
Levitsky received a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University in 1990 and a Ph.D, also in Political Science, from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999.
After obtaining his Ph.D. in 1999, Levitsky was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Notre Dame's Kellogg Center for International Studies.
He joined Harvard University as Assistant Professor of Government in 2000. There, he went on to serve as the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences (2004-2008) before receiving tenure as Professor of Government in 2008. At Harvard, Levitsky also sits on the Executive Committees of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. Levitsky is an advisor to several student organizations, including the Harvard Association Cultivating Inter-American Democracy (HACIA Democracy) and the POLITAI Civil Association at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
Levitsky is known for his work with Lucan Way on "competitive authoritarian" regimes, that is, hybrid government types in which, on the one hand, democratic institutions are generally accepted as the means to obtaining and exercising political power, but, on the other hand, incumbents violate the norms of those institutions so routinely, and to such an extent, that the regime fails to meet basic standards for democracy; under such a system, incumbents almost always retain power, because they control and tend to use the state to squelch opposition, arresting or intimidating opponents, controlling media coverage, or tampering with election results. Writing about the phenomenon in 2002, Levitsky and Way named Serbia under Slobodan Milošević and Russia under Vladimir Putin as examples of such regimes.
Levitsky is also an expert on the Nicaraguan revolution.
Levitsky lives with his wife and daughter in Brookline, Massachusetts.