M. Steven Fish
M. Steven Fish is a comparative political scientist who specializes in democracy and authoritarianism, religion and politics, and constitutional systems and national legislatures. He is the author of Are Muslims Distinctive? A Look at the Evidence (Oxford, 2011), which was selected for Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles, 2012: Top 25 Books. He is also author of Democracy Derailed in Russia: The Failure of Open Politics (Cambridge, 2005), which was the recipient of the Best Book Award of 2006, presented by the Comparative Democratization Section of the American Political Science Association, and Democracy from Scratch: Opposition and Regime in the New Russian Revolution (Princeton, 1995). He is coauthor of The Handbook of National Legislatures: A Global Survey (Cambridge, 2009) and Postcommunism and the Theory of Democracy (Princeton, 2001).
Fish writes and comments extensively on international affairs and the rising challenges to democracy in the United States and around the world. He appears as a commentator on the BBC, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Deutsche Welle, Al Jazeera, CNN, CNA, and CNBC and has published commentary in the The American Interest, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN.com, and Foreign Policy. He has served as an expert consultant to U.S. federal agencies and international organizations such as the European Commission for Democracy through Law.
Fish studied international relations, economics and history at Cornell and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies before receiving his Ph.D. in political science from Stanford. In addition to UC Berkeley, he has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and universities in Russia, Poland, China, and Indonesia. He served as a Senior Fulbright Fellow and Visiting Professor at the Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia, and at the European University at St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Russia. He has also been the recipient of the Distinguished Social Sciences Teaching Award of the College of Letters and Science at Berkeley.
Are Muslims Distinctive? A Look at the Evidence. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. 408 pages. (Selected for Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles, 2012: Top 25 Books)
The Handbook of National Legislatures: A Global Survey (coauthored with Matthew Kroenig). New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009. 808 pages.
- Data from the Handbook of National Legislatures:
Democracy Derailed in Russia: The Failure of Open Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. 336 pages. (Recipient of the Best Book Award of 2006, presented by the Comparative Democratization Section of the American Political Science Association)
Postcommunism and the Theory of Democracy (coauthored with Rishard D. Anderson, Stephen E. Hanson, and Philip G. Roeder). Princeton,NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001. 216 pages.
Democracy from Scratch: Opposition and Regime in the New Russian Revolution. Princeton,NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995. 300 pages.
- "What Has Russia Become?" Comparative Politics 50, 3 (April 2018): 327–346.
- “Attitudes toward Polygyny: Experimental Evidence from Six Countries.” (coauthored with Rose McDermott, Michael Dickerson, Danielle Lussier, and Jonathan Cowden). In Rose McDermott and Kristen Renwick Monroe, eds., The Evils of Polygyny: Evidence of Its Harms to Women, Men, and Society. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2018: 97–122.
- “Penury Traps and Prosperity Tales: Why Some Countries Escape Poverty While Others Do Not.” In Carol Lancaster and Nicholas van de Walle, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the Politics of Development. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018: 88–104.
- "What is Putinism?" Journal of Democracy 28, 4 (October 2017): 61–75.
- “Russia and the CIS in 2016: Pursuing Great Power Status.” (coauthored with Melissa Samarin and Lucan Way). Asian Survey 57, 1 (January-February 2017): 93-102.
- “The Secret Supports of Mongolian Democracy.” (coauthored with Michael Seeberg). Journal of Democracy 28, 1 (January 2017): 129–143.
- "Men, Muslims, and Attitudes toward Gender Inequality." (coauthored with Danielle N. Lussier) Politics and Religion 9, 1 (March 2016): 29–60.
- "Policies First, Institutions Second:Lessons from Estonia's Economic Reforms." (coauthored with Neil A. Abrams). Post-Soviet Affairs 31, 6 (November–December 2015): 491–513.
- "Indonesia: The Benefits of Civic Engagement." (coauthored with Danielle N. Lussier). Journal of Democracy 23, 1 (January 2012): 70–84.
- “Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy: A New Approach.” (coauthored with Michael Coppedge, John Gerring et al.). Perspectives on Politics 9, 2 (June 2011): 247–67.
- "Islam and Large-Scale Political Violence: Is There a Connection?" (coauthored with Francesca R. Jensenius and Katherine E. Michel). Comparative Political Studies 43, 11 (November 2010): 1327–62.
- "The e-Parliament Election Index: A Global Survey on the Quality of Practices in Parliamentary Elections." The e-Parliament, 2009.
- "Diversity, Conflict, and Democracy: Some Evidence from Eurasia and East Europe." (coauthored with Matthew Kroenig). Democratization 13, 5 (December 2006): 828–842.
- "Stronger Legislatures, Stronger Democracy." In Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner, eds., Democracy: A Reader. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009: 196–210.
- “Encountering Culture.” In Zoltan Barany and Robert G. Moser, eds., Is Democracy Exportable? New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009: 57–84.
- “Failed Democratization.” (coauthored with Jason Wittenberg). In Christian W. Haerpfer, Patrick Bernhagen, Ronald F. Inglehart, and Christian Welzel, eds., Democratization. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 249-65.
- “Democratization and Economic Liberalization in the Postcommunist World.” (coauthored with Omar Choudhry). Comparative Political Studies 40, 3 (March 2007): 254–82.
- "Does Diversity Hurt Democracy?" (coauthored with Robin S. Brooks). Journal of Democracy 15, 1 (January 2004): 155–66.
- "Islam and Authoritarianism." World Politics 55, 1 (October 2002): 4–37.
- “Putin’s Path.” In Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner, eds., Democracy after Communism. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002: 246-53. [Published originally in Journal of Democracy 12, 4 (October 2001): 71-78].
- “Russian Studies without Studying.” Post-Soviet Affairs 17, 4 (October-December 2001): 332-73.
- "Mongolia's Democratization in Comparative Perspective." Communist and Post-Communist Studies 34 (2001) 323–338.
- “Mongolia: Democracy without Prerequisites.” Journal of Democracy 9, 3 (July 1998): 127–41.
- “The Determinants of Economic Reform in the Postcommunist World." East European Politics and Societies 12, 1 (Winter 1998): 31–78.
- "Bulgarian Democracy's Organization Weapon: Political Parties and Political Development in Bulgaria." (coauthored with Robin S. Brooks). East European Constitutional Review 9, 3 (Summer 2000): 69-77.
- "The Art of Being Indispensable: Noncharismatic Personalism in Contemporary Political Parties." (coauthored with Christopher K. Ansell). Comparative Political Studies 32, 3 (May 1999): 283-312.
Selected Op-Ed Pieces
- Make Liberalism Great Again (Slate)
- Trump, Russia, and the Democrats' Golden Opportunity (The American Interest)
- The Lost Language of Progressive Patriotism (Real Clear World)
- Dethroning Ukraine's Oligarchs (Foreign Policy)
- To Establish the Rule of Law, Cut off Elites' Purses and Power (Washington Post)
- How Western Aid Enables Graft Addiction in Ukraine (Washington Post)
- The Saudi-Iranian War (Indian Express)
- State Subsidies Take from the Poor to Give to the Rich (Washington Post)
- Islam Isn't Inherently Violent (The Daily Beast)
- Tax Havens for Despots and Criminals (Washington Post)
- Why Is Terror Islamist? (Washington Post)
- New Atheists are Wrong about Islam (Salon)
- Are Arabs Sexist? (Al Jazeera)
- Coup, Denial, and Myth-Making in Egypt (Indian Express)
- What Tunisia Did Right (Foreign Policy)
- Egypt: at the Beginning of the Road (The Ukrainian Week)
- Egypt's Future Needs a Strong Legislature (CNN)
- Egypt, Muslims, and Democracy (CNN)
- Muslims and Secular Government (San Jose Mercury News)
- The Islamic Community, Tunisia, and the Democratic Paradox (KOMPAS, Jakarta)
- Muslims and Violence (Zaman, Istanbul)
- Kenya's Real Problem (Washington Post)
Some Recent Electronic Media Appearances