Leonardo Arriola

776 Social Sciences Building
Office Hours: By Appointment
Leonardo Arriola's picture


Research Interests: 
Coalition Politics
Ethnic Politics
Political Violence
Sub-Saharan Africa
Ph.D., Political Science, Stanford University
M.P.A., Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University
B.A., Claremont McKenna College
Personal Statement: 

Leonardo R. Arriola is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for African Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on democratization, coalition politics, ethnic politics, and political violence in developing countries. He has conducted field research in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Senegal, and Zambia. 

His current projects include the following:

Civic education—field experiment in Côte d'Ivoire on the impact of civic education on voter perceptions of electoral integrity.

Ethnic voting—field experiment in Kenya on the role of political endorsements in mobilizing multiethnic support for candidates.

Government trust—survey experiment in Guinea on the role of authorities in encouraging compliance with public health advisories.

Party organization—survey of MP candidates in Zambia on party organization and campaign finance.

Arriola's work has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, and World Politics. He is author of Multiethnic Coalitions in Africa: Business Financing of Opposition Election Campaigns (Cambridge University Press), which received a best book award from the African Politics section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) in 2013 and an honorable mention for the Gregory Luebbert Prize for best book from APSA’s Comparative Politics section in 2014.

Arriola has previously been a national fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, a visiting scholar at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame University, a Fulbright scholar at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa University, and a visiting researcher at the West African Research Center in Dakar, Senegal. He currently serves on the editorial boards of African AffairsComparative Politics, and Comparative Political Studies


Multiethnic Coalitions in Africa: Business Financing of Opposition Election Campaigns. Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics. Cambridge University Press (2012).  

Best book award (2013) from the African Politics Conference Group, an organized section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) and the African Studies Association (ASA).

Honorable mention (2014) for the Gregory Luebbert Prize for best book from the Comparative Politics section of the American Political Science Association (APSA).


"Ethnic Politics and Women’s Empowerment in Africa: Ministerial Appointments to Executive Cabinets." American Journal of Political Science vol. 58, no. 2 (2014): 495-510. (co-authored with Martha C. Johnson)

"Capital and Opposition in Africa: Coalition Building in Multiethnic Societies." World Politics vol. 65, no. 2 (2013): 233-272.

"Protesting and Policing in a Multiethnic Authoritarian State: Evidence from Ethiopia." Comparative Politics vol. 45, no. 2 (2013): 147-168.

"Patronage and Political Stability in Africa." Comparative Political Studies vol. 42, no. 10 (2009): 1339-1362. [Best Article Award from the African Politics Conference Group]

"Ethnicity, Economic Conditions, and Opposition Support: Evidence from Ethiopia’s 2005 Elections." Northeast African Studies vol. 10, no. 1 (2008): 115-144.

"The Ethiopian Voter: An Assessment of Economic and Ethnic Influences with Survey Data." International Journal of Ethiopian Studies vol. 3, no. 1 (2007): 73-90.


PS 146A: African Politics

PS 191: State Fragility and Peace-making 

PS 200B: Major Themes in Comparative Analysis: Research Design

PS 207: Political Violence 

PS 210: Political Violence

PS 249A: Ethnic Politics

PS 290A: Research and Writing 

PS 290SA: Africa Research Seminar 


Associated Senior Researcher, Chr. Michelsen Institute

Director, Center for African Studies

Chair, African Politics Conference Group

Faculty Affiliate, Center on the Politics of Development

Editor, African Studies Review

Editorial Board, African Affairs

Editorial Board, Comparative Politics

Editorial Board, Comparative Political Studies