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Political Science

Leah E. Gilbert

Assistant Professor of Political Science

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J.R. Howard Hall

Leah Gilbert is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Lewis and Clark College.  Her research and teaching interests include democratization, civil society, regime theory, post-communist politics (with an emphasis on Russia), and European politics (with an emphasis on Germany).   She speaks German and Russian and has conducted intensive fieldwork in both languages. 

Gilbert, along with Payam Mohseni, is the author of an article that introduces a new conceptual map and taxonomy for hybrid regimes published by Studies in Comparative International Development (September 2011).  An earlier version received recognition in the form of the Honorable Mention, Sage Paper Award for Best Qualitative Methods Paper Presented at the American Political Science Association, 2009.  In addition, she has published several articles on the development and impact of civil society on democracy in Russia and Europe. Currently she is working on a project that explores states’ legal regulation of non-governmental organizations in hybrid regimes.


Spring 2018

POLS 102 Introduction to Comparative Politics

Introduction to the central questions in comparative politics. Fundamental differences in the organization of states, democratic political institutions (presidentialism versus parliamentarianism, for example), and domestic social forces (for example, social capital, ethnic versus nonethnic identities). The impact of political organization on economic performance and social peace.

POLS 250 Transitions to Democracy and Authoritarianism

Why do some countries transition to democratic forms of rule while others do not? We will investigate this question by examining not only the rise of democracy, but also the origins and persistence of authoritarianism. While the course will consider historical processes of democratization and authoritarianism, emphasis will be placed on developments in the past thirty years. This course will draw on country examples from multiple world regions to illuminate why some autocrats have fallen and others have not–even in the current “age of democratization.”

POLS 435 Topics in Comparative Politics

Advanced seminar focusing on problems and concepts in comparative politics. Specific content varies; examples of topics include state failure and civil war, electoral competition and legislative behavior, migration and integration, institutional design, and ethnicity and nationalism. Assignments are organized around a substantial seminar paper (25 pages or longer).


Leah Gilbert, “Crowding Out Civil Society:  State Management of Social Organizations in Putin’s Russia” Europe-Asia Studies (68) 9 (November 2016), pp. 1553-1578

Leah Gilbert and Payam Mohseni, “Beyond Authoritarianism:  The Conceptualization of Hybrid Regimes” Studies in Comparative International Development (46) 3 (September 2011), pp. 270-297

Leah Gilbert and Harley Balzer, “Civil Society in Russia” in Routledge Handbook of Russian Politics and Society Ed. Graeme Gill (Routledge, 2011)

“Civil Society and Social Capital in Russia” in International Encyclopedia of Civil Society Ed. Helmut K. Anheier and Stefan Toepler (Springer, 2009)

“The Dark Sides of Social Capital: Organized Crime in Russia” in The Paradox of Social Capital: Fueling Conflict and Building Peace through Trust and Networks Ed. Michaelene Cox (New York: Routledge, 2009)  

Marc Morjé Howard and Leah Gilbert, “A Cross-National Comparison of the Internal Effects of Participation in Voluntary Organizations” Political Studies (56) 1 (March 2008), pp. 12-32 

Academic Credentials

Ph.D., Political Science, Georgetown University (2012)
B.A., Political Science and German, St. Olaf College (2002)


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Political Science


Leah Gilbert’s office is located in room 329 of John R. Howard Hall.


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Leah E. Gilbert Assistant Professor of Political Science

Political Science Lewis & Clark 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road MSC 12 Portland OR 97219 USA

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