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Erin Hern

Erin Hern

Contact Information:


400B Eggers Hall

Erin Hern

Associate Professor, Political Science Department


  • 2024 Spring
    • PSC 496 Distinction Thesis Seminar in Political Science II
    • PSC 694 Qualitative Political Analysis
    • PSC 700 Selected Topics - Politics of Africa
  • 2023 Fall
    • PSC 123 Comparative Government and Politics
    • PSC 495 Distinction Thesis Seminar in Political Science I
  • 2022 Fall
    • PSC 351 Political Economy of Development
    • PSC 781 Politics of the Developing World
  • 2022 Spring
    • PSC 123 Comparative Government and Politics
    • PSC 300 Selected Topics - Intro to Original Research

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., Department of Government, Cornell University, 2015

Areas of Expertise

Comparative politics, African politics, political participation, women and gender

Selected Publications

  • Books
    • Hern, E., Explaining Successes in Africa: Things Don't Always Fall Apart. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2023.
    • Hern, E., Developing States, Shaping Citizenship: Service Delivery and Political Behavior in Zambia. University of Michigan Press., 2019.
  • Journal Articles
    • Sperber, E., Hern, E., "Comparing Renewalist Christians’ Political Orientations in Latin America and Africa." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2023.
    • Hern, E., "When do Women Win in Legally Plural Systems? Evidence from Ghana and Senegal." Journal of Modern African Studies, 2022.
    • Hern, E., "Colonial Education and Women’s Political Behavior in Ghana and Senegal." African Studies Review, 2021.
    • Hern, E., "Gender and Participation in Africa’s Electoral Regimes: An Analysis of Variation in the Gender Gap." Politics, Groups, and Identities, 2020.
    • Hern, E., "Infrastructure and Perceptions of Democracy in Zambia: Democracy Off the Rails." African Affairs , 2020.
    • Hern, E., Harris, A., "Taking to the Streets: Protest as an Expression of Political Preference in Africa." Comparative Political Studies, 2019.
    • Sperber, E., Hern, E., "Pentecostal Identity & Citizen Engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa: New Evidence from Zambia." Politics and Religion, 2018.
  • Book Chapters
    • Hern, E., Sperber, E., "Pentecostalism, Party Politics, and Civic Engagement." In Competing for Caesar: Religion and Politics in Post-Colonial Zambia. , 2020.
    • Hern, E., "Preferences without Platforms: How Voters make Choices in Zambia’s Elections." In Democracy and Electoral Politics in Zambia. Brill Publishers, 2020.
  • Blogs
  • Book Reviews
    • Hern, E., Kallaway, P., "The Changing Face of Colonial Education: Education, Science, and Development." African Studies Review, 2023.
    • Hern, E., Larmer, M., "Living for the City: Social Change and Knowledge Production in the Central African Copperbelt." Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 2022.
    • Larmer, M., Hern, E., "Rethinking African Politics: A History of Opposition in Zambia." In Zambian Social Science Journal. Ashgate Publishing., 2013.

Presentations and Events

Conversations in Conflict Studies Speaker Series , PARCC, "Visibility of Autocratization, Election Outcomes, and Voter Behavior" (October 12, 2023)

Studies of Global Politics Speaker Series, SU Political Science Department, "Explaining Successes in Africa: Things Don't Always Fall Apart" (September 15, 2023)

African Studies Organization, "When Do Citizens Vote Out Would-Be Autocrats?" (November 19, 2022)

American Political Science Association, "Mass Participation under Autocratization" (September 12, 2022)

"Developing States, Shaping Citizenship" (April, 2022)

Lauder Institute, "Developing States, Shaping Citizenship" (February, 2022)

American Political Science Association, "Understandings of Democracy and Political Participation in Africa and the Middle East" (October 3, 2021)

Midwest Political Science Association, "Agents of Change: Executive Leadership and Effective Gender Quotas in Africa" (April 16, 2021)

Lauder Institute, "Africa Symposium: Bridging Profit and Purpose" (March, 2021)

African Studies Association, "Between Customary and Colonial: Law, Gender, and Political Behavior in Colonial West Africa" (November 21, 2020)

Restricted Spaces: Civil Society and Authoritarianism in Africa, Institute for African Development, "Democracy Off the Rails: Proximity to Infrastructure and Perceptions of Democracy" (April, 2019)

Honors and Accolades

Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Journal (October, 2023)