Jeffrey Kopstein

Photograph of Prof. Jeffrey Kopstein
Home Curriculum Vitae Publications Teaching Contact


For a copy of Professor Jeffrey Kopstein's CV, please click here.


1991 University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D, Political Science
1985 University of California, Berkeley, M.A., Political Science
1983 University of California, Berkeley, B.A., Political Economy


2015–present Professor of Political Science, University of California, Irvine
2004–2015 Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto
2002–2004 Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto
1998–2002 Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Colorado at Boulder
1991–1997 Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Colorado at Boulder
1990–1991 Visiting Assistant Professor of Government, Dartmouth College


2015–present Chair, Department of Political Science, University of California, Irvine
2012–2015 Director, Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto
2011–2012 Acting Director, Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto
2005–2011 Director, Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, University of Toronto
1998–1999 Director, Central and East European Studies Program, University of Colorado at Boulder


Research Interests:Comparative Politics, International Relations, Ethnic Politics, Jewish History.

Grants and Fellowships (since 1995):
2009-–2014 SSHRC Knowledge Cluster, Canada Europe Transatlantic Dialogue, coivestigator $1,000,000.

2006–2012 European Commission, EU Centre of Excellence, PI, 300,000 EUR.

2003–2006 Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Individual Research Grant, $73,000, for project on Ethnic Voting in Interwar Europe (with Jason Wittenberg).

2004–2006 National Science Foundation, (USA) $123,000USD for project (with Jason Wittenberg),.“Majorities and Minorities: A New Look at Ethnonationalism and Electoral Extremism.”

2002–2003 National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, (USA) $40,000USD (with Jason Wittenberg), “Who Votes Extremist in Eastern Europe:? A New Look with New Data.”

2001 Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Research Fellowship, Germany

1999–2000 Princeton University, Center of International Studies, Fellowship

1995–1996 Harvard University, Center for European Studies, James Bryant Conant Fellow in German and European Studies


Intimate Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms in the Shadow of the Holocaust, (with Jason Wittenberg, forthcoming).

Growing Apart? America and Europe in the 21st Century, editor (with Sven Steinmo), (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Comparative Politics: Interests, Identities, and Institutions in a Changing Global Order, editor (with Mark Lichbach), (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press), 1st ed. 2000, 2nd ed. 2005, 3rd ed.2009, 4th ed. 2014.

The Politics of Economic Decline in East Germany 1945–1989, (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1997).

Articles and Book Chapters:

"Post-Communism, the Civilizing Process, and the Mixed Impact of Leninist Violence," (with Michael Bernhard) in East European Politics and Societies (forthcoming).

"The Common Economic History of Militarized Regimes," in Hartmut Berghoff and Uta Balbier eds., The German Economy 1945–2010, (New York: Cambridge University Press).

"The Kishinev Pogrom of 1903," "Pogroms," and "The Mary Laws," in Dan Diner ed., Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture, (Stuttgart: Mezler Verlag).

"Deadly Communities: Local Political Milieus and the Persecution of Jews in Occupied Poland," (with Jason Wittenberg), Comparative Political Studies, vol.44, no.5, May 2011, pp.259–283.

"Between National Identity and State Loyalty: Electoral Behavior in Interwar Poland" (with Jason Wittenberg), POLIN: Studies in Polish Jewry, vol.24, November 2011, pp.171185.

"Beyond Dictatorship and Democracy: Rethinking Minority Inclusion and Regime Type in Interwar Eastern Europe," (with Jason Wittenberg) Comparative Political Studies, vol.43, no.8, August 2010, pp.1089–1118.

"Anti-Americanism and the Transatlantic Relationship," Perspectives on Politics, vol.7, no.2, 2009, pp.367–380.

"1989 as a Lens for the Communist Past and Postcommunist Future," Contemporary European History, vol.18, no.3, 2009, pp.289–302.

"Does Familiarity Breed Contempt? Interethnic Contact and Support for Illiberal Parties," (with Jason Wittenberg), Journal of Politics, vol.71, no.2, 2009, pp.414–428.

"What to Read on Transatlantic Relations," Foreign Affairs, August 10, 2009.

"Geography, Post-Communism, and Comparative Politics," in The Spatial Turn: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Barney Warf and Santa Arias eds., (London: Routledge, 2008).

"Democracy Promotion and Transatlantic Relations," in Defending the Gains? Transatlantic Responses When Democracy is Under Threat, ed. Esther Brimmer, (Washington, D.C: Johns Hopkins University Press 2007), pp.27–37.

"Max Weber, Objectivity, and the Classics of Comparative Politics," in Laurence McFalls ed., Max Weber’s “Objectivity” Revisited, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007), pp.309–321.

"The Transatlantic Divide Over Democracy Promotion," Washington Quarterly, vol.29, no.2, 2006, pp.85–98.

"Civil Society and the State" (with Simone Chambers), in Bonnie Honig and John Dryzek eds., Oxford Handbook of Political Theory, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).

"Honecker.’s Revenge: The Enduring Legacy of German Unification in the 2005 Election,” (with Daniel Ziblatt), German Politics and Society, vol.24, no.1, 2006, pp.134–147. Reprinted in Eric Langenbacher ed., Launching the Grand Coalition: The 2005 Bundestag Elections and the Future of German Politics, New York: Berghahn Books, 2006, pp.136–149.

"As Europe Gets Larger Will it Disappear?" (with David Reilly), International Studies Review, vol.8, no.1, 2006, pp.140–153. Reprinted in Hilary Apel ed., The Expansion of Nato and the European Union, (Claremont: Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, 2006), pp.1–29.

"Irony and Continuity in Central European History,"Theory and Society, vol.34, no.1, 2005, pp.13–20.

"Regime Type and Diffusion in Comparative Politics Methodology" (with Stephen Hanson), Canadian Journal of Political Science, vol.38, no.1, 2005, pp.69–99 (short-listed for McMenemy Prize of Canadian Political Science Association).

"Post-Communist Democracy: Legacies and Outcomes," Comparative Politics, vol.35, no.1, 2003, pp.231–250.

"Post-Communist Spaces: A Political Geography Approach to Explaining Post-Communist Outcomes," in Grzegorz Ekiert and Stephen E. Hanson eds., Capitalism and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe: Assessing the Legacy of Communist Rule, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp.153–185.

"Who Voted Communist? Reconsidering the Social Bases of Radicalism in Interwar Poland," (with Jason Wittenberg), Slavic Review , vol.63, no.1, 2003 (listed in Newsletter of European Politics Section of American Political Science Association as one of most influential articles written in European politics since 2000).

"The GDR: Internal and External Constraints," German Politics and Society, vol.20, no.3, 2002, pp.79–94.

"Bad Civil Society," (with Simone Chambers) Political Theory, vol.29, no.6, 2001, pp.838–866.

"Development in Eastern Europe," in Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, (Oxford, UK: Elsevier Science, 2001).

"Does Everyday Resistance Matter? Lessons from the German Dictatorships," in Laurence McFalls ed., German Monitor, no.54, 2001, pp.97–108.

"Globalization in One Country: East German Labor Between Moral Economy and Political Economy," in Christopher Candland and Rudra Sil eds.,Globalization and Labor, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

"Between Maastricht and Sarajevo: European Identities, Narratives, and Myths," (with Francis Beer) in Francis Beer, Meanings of War and Peace, (College Station, Texas: A&M University Press, 2001), pp.150–163.

"Geographic Diffusion and the Transformation of the Postcommunist World," (with David Reilly), World Politics, vol.53, no.1, 2000, pp.1–37.

"Explaining the Why of the Why in Post Communist Eastern Europe: A comment on Fish's 'Determinants of Economic Reform in the Post-Communist World’," (with David Reilly) East European Politics and Societies, vol.13, no.3 1999.

"Is History Repeating Itself? The Political Economy of Eastern Europe in the Interwar and Postcommunist Eras," (with Stephen Hanson) in David Becker and Richard Sklar eds., International Capitalism and the Future of Development, (Westport CT: Praeger,1999).

"Paths to Uncivil Societies and Anti-Liberal States: Reply to Shenfield," (with Stephen Hanson) Post-Soviet Affairs, vol.14, no.4, 1998, pp.36–375.

"The Weimar-Russia Comparison," (with Stephen Hanson) Post-Soviet Affairs, vol.13, no.3, August 1997, pp.252–283.

"The Politics of National Reconciliation: Memory and Institutions in German-Czech Relations since 1989," Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, vol.3, no.2, 1997, pp.58–79.

"Chipping Away at the State: Workers' Resistance and the Demise of East Germany,"World Politics, vol.48, no.3, April 1996, pp.391–423.

"Weak Foundations under German Reconstruction,"Transitions, vol.2, no.2, January 1996, pp.34–64.

"Ulbricht Embattled: The Quest for Socialist Modernity in the Light of New Sources," Europe Asia Studies (formerly Soviet Studies), vol.46, no.4, June 1994, pp.597–615.

"Communist Social Structure and Post Communist Elections: Voting for Reunification in East Germany," (with Karl-Otto Richter) Studies in Comparative Communism, vol.25, no.4, December 1992, pp.363–380.

Work in Progress:
The Sources of Regime Type: Democracy, Communism, and Fascism in interwar Eastern Europe (book project).

Book Reviews:
Review of W Cienu Gigantow: Pogromy 1941 R Bylej Sowieckiej Okupacyjnej, (In the Shadow of Giants: The Pogroms of the 1941 in the Former Soviet Occupied Territory), in Yad Vashem Studies, forthcoming

Review of Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1945-1956, in The Globe and Mail, December 8, 2012

Review of Dylan Riley, The Civic Foundations of Fascism in Europe, in Perspectives on Politics vol. 9, 2011.

Review of Anna K. Jarstad and Timothy S. Sisk eds. From War to Democracy: Dilemmas of Peacebuilding, in Taiwan Journal of Democracy, vol. 5, no. 2, 2009.

Review of Jorge Dominguez and Anthony Jones, The Construction of Democracy: Lessons from Practice and Research in International Journal vol. 64, no. 3, 2009.

Review of Walter Laqueur, The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent,Globe and Mail, September 15, 2007.

Review of Andrei Markovits, Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America, Globe and Mail, January 20, 2007.

Review of Aufbau und Krise der Planwirtschaft (The Construction and Crisis of the Planned Economy) by Dierk Hoffmann, in Slavic Review.

Review of Petr Kopecky and Cas Mudde, Uncivil Society? Contentious Politics in Post Communist Europe, in e-Extreme, vol. 5, no. 4, 2004.

Review of Die Grenzen Osteuropas: 1918, 1945, 1989.—Drei Versuche im Westen anzukommen (The Borders of East Europe: 1918, 1945, 1989.—Three Attempts to Enter the West) by Dieter Segert, in H-Habsburg, 2003.

Review of Can Democracy Survive in Russia? by Harry Eckstein et. al., in American Political Science Review vol.95, no. 1, March 2001, p.233.

Review of The Political Economy of German Unification, edited by Thomas Lange and J.R. Shackleton, Journal of Comparative Economics vol. 28, no. 3, September 2000, p. 632.

Review of The Logic of Evil: The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933, by William Brustein, in American Political Science Review, vol. 91, no. 2, 1997.

Review of The Stasi: The East German Intelligence and Security Service by David Childs and Richard Popplewell, in Europe-Asia Studies vol. 49, no. 8, 1997.

Review of After Socialism. What Comes Next? by Katherine Verdery, in Canadian Journal of Political Science vol. 30, no.3, 1997.

Review of The Revenge of the Past by Ronald Grigor Suny, in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, vol. 2, no. 4, 1995.


"Deadly Communities: Political Polarization and the Persecution of Jews in Occupied Poland," lecture given at Yale University (November 2008); Indiana University (November 2008); University of Ottawa (November 2009); McGill University (January 2010); University of California, San Diego (April 2009); Kiev Mohyla Academy (October 2010); University of Michigan (February 2010); University of Florida (2012); Hebrew University (2011); College of William and Mary (November 2012).

"1989 as a Mirror of the Communist Past and Post-Communist Future." lecture given at Stanford University (March 2009); and Princeton University January 2011.

"Interethnic Contact and the Rise Illiberal Parties." Oskar Jaszi Lectures given at Oberlin College, March 2009.


University of Toronto
Faculty of Arts and Science Outstanding Teaching Award, 2006
American Political Science Association—Pi Sigma Alpha Teaching Recognition Award, 2006

University of Colorado
Student Organization for Alumni Relations (SOAR) and CU Directors Club and Parents Association Teaching Recognition Award, Spring 1995.
International Affairs Teaching Recognition Award, Spring 1994.

Courses Taught at University of California, Irvine
POL SCI 51A Politics around the World
POL SCI 219 Dictatorship & Democracy

Courses Taught at University of Toronto
POL101 Democracy Dictatorship War and Peace
POL103 Canada in Comparative Perspective
POL324 European Poliics
POL440 Democracy and Dictatorship
POL2000 Graduate Research Design
HIS359 History of Hungary
CJS201 Introduction to Jewish Studies




Section Head: European Politics and Society
American Political Science Association 2013

European Community Studies Association Canada, 2006–2008

General Editor:
University of Toronto Press Book Series, European Union Studies

Editorial Board:
German Politics and Society
Zeitschrift für Politik (Germany)
Sage Handbook of Comparative Politics

Journal Referee (past five years):
World Politics
American Political Science Review
Comparative Political Studies
Comparative Politics
Political Research Quarterly
East European Politics and Societies
Nationalism and Ethnic Politics
American Sociological Review
European Union Politics
Canadian Journal of International Affairs
German Politics and Society

Harvard University Press
University of Michigan Press
Cambridge University Press
University of North Carolina Press
Princeton University Press

American Council of Learned Societies

Grant Evaluator:
National Science Foundation
Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Program Review:
Free University of Berlin
Otto Suhr Institut for Political Science


1991–present: American Political Science Association
1991–present: German Studies Association
1992–present: American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
1996–present: European Community Studies Association/European Union Studies Association


German — fluent
Russian — fluent
Polish — reading
French — reading

Back to top