Professor Bielasiak’s interests are in the fields of comparative politics, with a special interest in the process of democratization and in electoral and party systems.

His major emphasis is on the transformation of post-communist societies in East Europe and the former Soviet Union.

His research in this field has focused on political participation and decision-making processes (e.g. articles in American Political Science Review, Studies in Comparative Communism, East European Quarterly, International Journal of Politics, and edited collections), on the political crisis in Poland (editor of Poland Today, and of Polish Politics: Edge of the Abyss, and numerous articles), and on the political economy of reform in post-communist systems (publications in several journals such as Economic and Industrial Democracy Journal, East European Politics and Societies, and edited books). His current research and writing focus on a global comparison of electoral processes and party institutionalization in emerging democracies, involving West European, Latin American, Asian, and post-communist cases (articles in Comparative Politics, Party Politics, Europe-Asia Studies, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Studies in Public Policy, and several edited volumes), as well as a book-length study on Institutionalizing Democracy: Post-communism Party Systems In Comparative Perspective. In conjunction with these interests, Professor Bielasiak teaches courses on Transitions to Democracy, Political Democratization, East European Politics, and Post-Communist Politics. Beyond this area, he is also involved in the study and teaching of 20th century genocides, offering courses on the Holocaust and Politics, The Politics of Genocide, and Political Tyranny.


  • Democratization
  • Parties and elections
  • Post-communism
Past Affiliations
European Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Russian, Religious Studies, Political Science
PhD, Cornell University, 1975
MA, Cornell University, 1972
BA, Brooklyn College, The City University of New York, 1969
political science
French, Polish

Fulbright Selection Board for Faculty Research in East Europe, 1996-97

IREX Grant for Research in East Europe, Summer 1995

President, Polish Studies Association, 1987-88, 1989-91

IREX Grant, Project on Elections and Political Democracy in Eastern Europe, 1991-93

RUGS Summer Fellowship, Indiana University, 2002

REEI Summer Fellowship, Indiana University, 2001

American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
American Political Science Association
Polish Studies Association