Evan Lieberman


Evan Lieberman is the Total Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa. He conducts research in the field of comparative politics, with a focus on development and ethnic conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. Lieberman received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

He is the author of Boundaries of Contagion: How Ethnic Politics have Shaped Government Responses to AIDS (Princeton University Press 2009) and Race and Regionalism in the Politics of Taxation in Brazil and South Africa (Cambridge University Press 2003), and has published articles in the American Political Science Review, Annual Review of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Politics & Society, Studies in Comparative International Development, and World Development. Lieberman is recipient of the 2014 David Collier Mid-Career Award, the 2010 Giovanni Sartori Book prize, the 2004 Mattei Dogan book prize, the 2002 Gabriel A. Almond dissertation award; and the 2002 Mary Parker Follett article award. He was a Fulbright fellow in South Africa in 1997-98, and a Robert Wood Johnson health policy scholar at Yale University in 2000-02. Previously, he was Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Politics at Princeton University (2002-14).


Lieberman employs a range of empirical research methods to better understand the causes and consequences of policy-making, conflict, and human development especially in sub-Saharan Africa. His current projects include a study of the drivers of local and polycentric service delivery in Southern Africa; field experiments investigating the relationship between information provision and citizenship in East Africa; conceptual, case study, and statistical analyses of the institutionalization of ethnic categories around the world; and survey experiments on social identity and perceptions of health-related risks. He is also working on problems of research design and multi-method causal inference in comparative research.

Select Recent Publications

  • “Does Information Lead to More Active Citizenship? Evidence from an Education Intervention in Rural Kenya,” (with Daniel Posner and Lily Tsai). World Development (v60, August 2014), pp. 69-38.
  • “The Ethnicity-Policy Preference Link in sub-Saharan Africa,” (with Gwyneth McClendon). Comparative Political Studies (v46, 2013), 574-602.
  • “The Institutional Origins of Ethnic Violence,” (with Prerna Singh). Comparative Politics (v45, n1, 2012), 1-24.
  • “Conceptualizing and Measuring Ethnic Politics: An Institutional Complement to Demographic, Behavioral, and Cognitive Approaches,” (with Prerna Singh). Studies in Comparative International Development (v47, n2, 2012).
  • “The Perils of Polycentric Governance of Infectious Disease in South Africa.” Social Science & Medicine, (v73, n5, 2011), 676-84.
  • “Bridging the Qualitative-Quantitative Divide: Best Practices in the Development of Historically-Oriented Replication Databases,” Annual Review of Political Science, (v13, 2010).
  • Boundaries of Contagion: How Ethnic Politics Have Shaped Government Responses to AIDS. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).