Matthew Charles Wilson
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of South Carolina







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 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, 47(1)
(with Joseph Wright)

  PS 2017, 50(4)

II 2018, 44(1)  (with

  Carla Martinez Machain)

    JPSE 2018, 14(3)

Democratization 2018
(with Anna Lührmann
and other co-authors)

    Democratization 2019
    (with Josef Woldense)

         CPS 2019, 53(5)

       H&SSC 2020
(with Patrik Lindenfors
and Staffan I. Lindberg)

            POP 2020
(with Carl Henrik Knutsen)

           PSRM 2022
   (with Juraj Medzihorsky
    and other co-authors)

             IASR 2022
     (with Vanessa Boese)

          JPSE 2023
(with Christopher Howell
  and other co-authors)

         JPR 2023
(with Seraphine Maerz
and other co-authors)

Book Contributions

Blanchard, Bühlmann,
  and Gauthier 2014

           Goetz 2019


(with Haakon Gjerløw
and other co-authors)

Research Interests

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

Political Methodology:
Quantitative Methods
Time Dependence
Sequence Analysis
Google Scholar profile

ResearchGate profile