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Leonardo Arriola

Associate Dean of Social Sciences, Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of the Center for African Studies
Current Status
776 Social Sciences Building
Office Hours
By Appointment
Upcoming/Future Courses
Personal Statement

Leonardo R. Arriola studies the challenges associated with representation and governance in multiethnic societies. His research examines inter-ethnic political cooperation, party competition under ethnic polarization, and political violence in divided societies. His award-winning research has been published in outlets such as the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, and Journal of Politics along with books published by Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press. His work has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Carnegie Corporation of New York, U.S. Department of Defense, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP). He is co-editor of Africa Spectrum, an interdisciplinary journal published by the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), an associated senior researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) in Norway, and a board member of the African Studies Association (ASA).

As the first in his family to go to college, Professor Arriola understands the importance of student mentoring and advising. He regularly offers research opportunities for undergraduate students through Berkeley’s Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP), and he is dedicated to helping graduate students successfully complete the PhD and pursue their professional goals. He is a past recipient of the Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award from Berkeley’s Graduate Division and the Graduate Council of the Academic Senate.

Research Interests
Ethnic Politics
Coalition Politics
Political Violence
Sub-Saharan Africa
Ph.D., Political Science, Stanford University
M.P.A., School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
B.A., Claremont McKenna College

Arriola, Leonardo R. Martha C. Johnson, and Melanie L. Phillips, editors. 2021. Women and Power in Africa: Aspiring, Campaigning, and Governing. Oxford Studies in African Politics and International Relations. Oxford University Press.

Arriola, Leonardo R. 2012. Multiethnic Coalitions in Africa: Business Financing of Opposition Election Campaigns. Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics. Cambridge University Press.  

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

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


Google Scholar Profile

Arriola, Leonardo R., Jed DeVaro, and Anne Meng. “Democratic Subversion: Elite Cooptation and Opposition Fragmentation.” American Political Science Review. In press.

Arriola, Leonardo R., David D. Dow, Aila M. Matanock, and Michaela Mattes. 2021. "Policing Institutions and Civil Conflict." Journal of Conflict Resolution. In press.

Arriola, Leonardo R., Donghyun Danny Choi, Justine Davis, Melanie Phillips, and Lise Rakner. 2021. "Paying to Party: Candidate Resources and Party Switching in New Democracies." Party Politics. In press.

Arriola, Leonardo R. and Allison Grossman. 2021. "Ethnic Marginalization and (Non)Compliance in Public Health Emergencies." Journal of Politics 83(3).

Arriola, Leonardo R. and Terrence Lyons. 2016. "Ethiopia: The 100% Election." Journal of Democracy 27(1): 76-88. 

Arriola, Leonardo R. and Martha C. Johnson. 2014. "Ethnic Politics and Women’s Empowerment in Africa: Ministerial Appointments to Executive Cabinets." American Journal of Political Science 58(2): 495-510.

Arriola, Leonardo R. 2013. "Capital and Opposition in Africa: Coalition Building in Multiethnic Societies." World Politics 65(2): 233-272.

Arriola, Leonardo R. 2013. "Protesting and Policing in a Multiethnic Authoritarian State: Evidence from Ethiopia." Comparative Politics 45(2): 147-168.

Arriola, Leonardo R. 2009. "Patronage and Political Stability in Africa." Comparative Political Studies 42(10): 1339-1362. 

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