Professor Stephen Whitefield

Tutor in Politics, Rhodes Pelczynski Fellow in Politics, Professor of Comparative Russian and East European Politics and Societies

Teaching activities

Introduction to Politics
Comparative Government
Political Sociology
Russian Politics and Government

Detailed Biography

Recent Grants:

‘Support for Democracy in Egypt: A Crucial Point for the Country: A Crucial Test Case for Comparative Politics’.  PI, with Mazen Hassan and Elisabeth Kendall. Funding from the Economic and Social Research Council.

'The 2012 Russian Presidential Election: A National Survey of Russians'. Co-Principal Investigator with Paul Chaisty. Internal Oxford University funding.

'Party Stances, Citizen Stances and Party Choice in the Founding Democratic Egyptian Election of 2011'. Principal Investigator with Mazen Hassan and Elisabeth Kendall, Co-Investigators. Funding from Chris Rokkos (BrevanHoward Asset Management).

'“We were just using different words to mean the same thing”: Exploring the Affective Norms of Political Party Manifestos'. Principal Investigator, with Sara Hobolt and Eamonn Molloy. Fell Fund. 2011-12.

'Reconsidering Party Divisions in Western Europe: Lessons from the New Democracies of Central and Eastern Europe'. Principal Investigator, Nuffield Foundation, SGS/34859.

'Social Inequality and Why It Matters for the Economic and Democratic Development of Europe and Its Citizens. Post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe in Comparative Perspective'. Project Coordinator, EU-FP6-2004-CITIZENS-5, Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society.

Recent Presentations

Keynote speaker, 17th International Summer University, 2012 Kőszeg, Hungary, 'Reinventing the Future: Responses and Alternatives to the Crisis'

Invited participant, 'Tragedy or Triumph? A Hundred Years of Politics and IR at Oxford', Oxford, December 1-2, 2011.

Invited Participant, European Science Foundation 'Forward Looking Consensus' conference, Central and Eastern Europe beyond Transition: Convergence and Divergence in Europe. Berlin, February 16-17, 2011.

'Environment or Jobs: Governance and Environmental Policy Making in Central and Eastern Europe'. Society for the Social Study of Science, Tokyo, August 2010.

'Social inequality in Central and Eastern Europe'. Department of Sociology, Yale University, September 25, 2009

Relevant Links

Department of Politics and International Relations - Profile


College & university roles and committees

College Function

Rhodes-Pelczynski Fellow in Politics

Member of:

  • Governing Body
  • Fellowships Committee


Department of Politics and International Relations

Research interests

1. What stances do political parties take in Europe on economic, social and political issues and why? And how well do parties go about the task of political representation these days?

2. What are the views of citizens in Europe on similar issues and what are the social and ideological bases on which citizens make choices about which parties to support?

3. What is 'social inequality' and what are its consequences for the views and behaviours of political parties and citizens and for the political and economic development of countries?

4. What is the role of emotions in politics and in the way that parties appeal to voters?

5. What are the social and ideological bases of support for political parties in post-revolutionary Egypt?


‘Support for Environmental Policies: Are Post-Communist Societies (Still) Different?’ (with Paul Chaisty), Environmental Politics, forthcoming, 2015.

‘Media, Cultural Consumption and Political Culture in Post-Revolutionary Egypt’ (with Mazen Hassan and Elisabeth Kendall), Political Studies, forthcoming, 2015.

‘The Salience of European Integration to Party Competition: Western and Eastern Europe Compared’ (with Robert Rohrschneider), East European Politics and Society, forthcoming, 2015. 

‘Rethinking Social Inequality and Why It Matters’ (with Chiara Binelli and Matthew Loveless), World Development, 70, 2015, 239-248. 

‘Forward to democracy or back to authoritarianism? The attitudinal bases of mass support for the Russian election protests of 2011-12’ (with Paul Chaisty), Post-Soviet Affairs, 29 (5), 2013, 387-403.

Social Inequality and Assessments of Democracy and the Market: Evidence from the New Market Democracies of Central and Eastern Europe' (with Matthew Loveless), Europe-Asia Studies, 65 (1), 2013, 26-44.

The Strain of Representation. How Parties Represent Diverse Voters in Western and Eastern Europe (with Robert Rohrschneider). Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012.

'Institutional Context and Representational Strain in Party-Voter Agreement in Western and Eastern Europe' (with Robert Rohrschneider), West European Politics, 35 (6), 2012, 1320-1340.

'The Political Consequences of Russia's Financial Crisis' (with Paul Chaisty), Post-Soviet Affairs, 28 (2), 2012, 187-208.

'Being Unequal and Seeing Inequality: Explaining the Political Significance of Social Inequality in New Market Democracies' (with Matthew Loveless). European Journal of Political Research, 50 (2), 2011, 239-266.

'Consistent Choice Sets? The Stances of Political Parties towards European Integration in 10 Central East European Democracies, 2003-2007' (with Robert Rohrschneider), Journal of European Public Policy, 17 (1), 2010, 55-75.

'The Europeanization of Political Parties in Central and Eastern Europe? The Impact of EU Entry on Issue Stances, Salience and Programmatic Coherence' (with Robert Rohrschneider), Journal of Post-Communist and Transition Studies, 25 (4), 2009, 564-584.

'Russian Citizens and Russian Democracy: Perceptions of State Governance and Democratic Practice, 1993-2007'. Post-Soviet Affairs, 25 (2), 2009, 1-25.

'Representational Consistency: Stability and Change in Political Cleavages in Central and Eastern Europe' (with Robert Rohrschneider). Politics and Policy, 37 (5), 2009, 667-690.

'Understanding Cleavages in Party Systems: Issue Position and Issue Salience in 13 Post-Communist Democracies' (with Robert Rohrschneider), Comparative Political Studies, 42 (2), 2009, 280-313.

'Representation and New Democracies: Party Stances on European Integration in Post Communist Eastern Europe' (with Robert Rohrschneider), The Journal of Politics, 69 (4), 2007, 1148-1161.

'Do Expert Surveys Produce Consistent Estimates of Party Stances on European Integration? Comparing Expert Surveys in the Difficult Case of Central and Eastern Europe' (with Milada Anna Vachudova, Marco Steenbergen, Robert Rohrschneider, Gary Marks, Paul Loveless, Liesbet Hooghe), Electoral Studies, 26 (1), 2007, 50-61.

'Mind the Representation Gap: Explaining Differences in Public Views of Representation in Post-Communist Democracies', Comparative Political Studies, 40(6), 2006, 733-758.

'Political Parties, Public Opinion and European Integration in Post-Communist Countries: the State of the Art' (with Robert Rohrschneider), European Union Politics, 7(1), 2006, 141-160.

'Explaining the Emergence and Persistence of Class Voting in Post-Soviet Russia, 1993-2001' (with G. Evans), Political Research Quarterly, 59 (1), 2006, 23-34.

'Support for Foreign Ownership and Integration in Eastern Europe: Economic Interests, Ideological Commitments and Democratic Context' (with Robert Rohrschneider), Comparative Political Studies, 37, 2004, 313-339.

'Russian Mass Attitudes Towards the Environment, 1993-2001', Post-Soviet Affairs, 19, 2003, 95-113.

'Political Cleavages and Post-Communist Politics', Annual Review of Political Science, 5, 2002, 181-200.

'The Political Economy of Targeting and Poverty Alleviation in Ukraine', Post-Soviet Affairs, 18, 2002, 71-97. (Reprinted in Wsevolod W Isajiw ed., Social Change in Ukraine in Western Perspectives. Toronto, Canadian Scholars' Press, 2003, 401-426.)