Christian Houle

Associate Professor
Office: 331 South Kedzie Hall
Phone: 517-353-7970

Christian Houle is an associate professor of political science at Michigan State University.  Professor Houle joined the department in 2013.  Prior to that, he was assistant professor in the department of political science at Trinity College, Dublin, for three years.  Professor Houle received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Rochester in 2011, and his M.A. in economics from Queen?s University, Canada, in 2004.  His main research and teaching interests focus on the comparative politics of developing countries.  He is especially interested in topics related to democracy and regime change, inequality, political instability and civil war.

His articles have been published or are forthcoming in International Organization, World Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Political Behavior, Journal of Economic Inequality, International Interactions, Democratization and Government and Opposition.

Recent Publications

“Ethnic Inequality and Ethnic Identification in Sub-Saharan Africa,” with Masaaki Higashijima. Forthcoming.  Political Behavior.

“Social Mobility and Political Instability,” Forthcoming. Journal of Conflict Resolution.

“A Two-Step Theory and Test of the Oil Curse: The Conditional Effect of Oil on Democratization,” Forthcoming.  Democratization.

“The Political and Economic Consequences of Populist Rule in Latin America,” with Paul Kenny. Forthcoming.  Government and Opposition.

“Does Inequality Harm Economic Development and Democracy? Accounting for Missing Values, Non-Comparable Observations and Endogeneity,” Forthcoming. In Lancaster, Carol, and Nicolas van de Walle, eds. Oxford Handbook of Politics of Development. Oxford University Press.

“Ethnic Inequality and Coups in Sub-Saharan Africa,” with Cristina Bodea. 2017. Journal of Peace Research.  54(3): 382-396.

“Do Civil Wars, Coups and Riots Have the Same Structural Determinants?” with Cristina Bodea and Ibrahim Elbadawi. 2017. International Interactions. 43(3): 537-561.

“Inequality, Ethnic Diversity and Redistribution,” 2017. Journal of Economic Inequality. 15(1): 1-23.
“Diffusion or Confusion? Clustered Shocks and the Conditional Diffusion of Democracy,” with Mark Kayser and Jun Xiang. 2016. International Organization. 70(4): 687-726.

“Why Class Inequality Breeds Coups but Not Civil Wars,” 2016. Journal of Peace Research 53(5): 680-695.

“Inequality, Economic Development and Democratization,” 2016. Studies in Comparative International Development.  51(4):503-529.
– Winner of the Kellogg/Notre Dame Award for best paper in comparative politics, MPSA.

“Ethnic Inequality and the Dismantling of Democracy: A Global Analysis,” 2015. World Politics 67(3): 469-505.
– Winner of the Best Paper Award, Comparative Democratization Section, APSA.
– Winner of the Kellogg/Notre Dame Award for best paper in comparative politics, MPSA.

“Inequality, Democratization and Democratic Consolidation,” 2013. APSA-Comparative Democratization Newsletter. 11(3): 21-24.

“Inequality and Democracy: Why Inequality Harms Consolidation but Does Not Affect Democratization,” 2009. World Politics. 61(4): 589-622.