Matthew Charles Wilson
Assistant Professor of Political Science
West Virginia University







Image: Manarola, Italy (2010)

Scholars have pointed out a need in the ongoing work on authoritarian institutions to cultivate a focus that is more sensitive to how institutions form and change.  In support of this effort, my research is concerned with institution-building and political trajectories.

My focus on comparative political institutions aims to develop concrete explanations for the causes and processes of state development, based on expectations regarding individual agency, costs and benefits, and incentive structures.  One goal of comparative institutional research is to identify and conceptualize institutions in authoritarian regimes. In some of my research, I compared extant typologies of authoritarian regime types to identify their strengths and weaknesses with regard to measurement validity.  My research also supports the use of institutionally similar 'types' to explain the relationship between institutions and political outcomes—such as terrorism and expropriation—which is a second goal in institutional research.  There is also a renewed focus in the literature on the temporal mechanisms and pathways by which institutions affect outcomes. To this end, my research focuses on developing novel methodologies for testing arguments about the sequential impact of institutions and events.  

Dissertation Summary

Research Articles

  AJPS 2013, 57(4)
(with James Piazza)

CPS 2014, 47(5)

    PSRM 2015, 3(2)
(with Gretchen Casper)

  BJPS 2017, 41(1)
(with Joseph Wright)

Book Contributions

Blanchard, Bühlmann,
  and Gauthier 2014

ResearchGate profile
Research Interests

Comparative Politics/IR:
Varieties of Authoritarianism
Comparative Institutions
Civil Conflict

Political Methodology:
Quantitative Methods
Time Dependence
Sequence Analysis