Rachel Beatty Riedl

Professor, Director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies


Rachel Beatty Riedl is the Einaudi Center's director and John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and professor in the Department of Government and Brooks School of Public Policy.

Her research interests include institutions in democracies and autocracies, local governance and decentralization policy, authoritarian regime legacies, democratic resilience, and religion and politics, with a regional focus in Africa.  Previously, she was an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research, and Director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University.  She has also been a visiting fellow at the Yale Program on Democracy, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame, and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. She is a full member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served as Chair of the Democracy and Autocracy section of the American Political Science Association.  Riedl is co-host of the podcast Ufahamu Africa, featuring weekly episodes of news highlights and interviews about life and politics on the African continent.  PhD Princeton University.

Research Focus

  • Research Interest(s): Comparative Democratization; Political Party Systems and Democratic Institutions; Decentralization and Local Governance; Authoritarian Legacies; Religion and Politics
  • Program Area(s): Comparative Politics
  • Regional Specialization(s): Africa
  • Subfield Specialties: Comparative Historical Analysis; Political Parties


In the news