Lucan Way


Associate Professor
(416) 287-7295


Professor Way’s research focuses on democratic transitions and the evolution of non-democratic rule in cross-regional perspective. He is best known for his work on hybrid or competitive authoritarian rule. His book, Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War (with Steven Levitsky), was published in 2010 by Cambridge University Press. He is completing a book, Pluralism by Default and the Sources of Political Competition after the Cold War and is beginning a new project on the durability of revolutionary regimes.

Research Interests: 

  • Authoritarianism
  • Democratization
  • Revolutions
  • Post-communist politics
  • African Politics

Teaching Interests: 

  • POLB92H3 Comparative Politics: Revolution, Democracy and Authoritarianism in Modern Europe
  • POLB93H3 Comparative Politics: Ethnic Conflict and Democratization in Europe After the Cold War
  • POLD92H3 Survival and Demise of Dictatorships

Awards and Grants: 

  • 2006 Winner of the Best Article Award from the American Political Science Association’s Comparative Democratization Section
  • Social Sciences and Humanities (SSHRC), “Revolutionary Struggle and Authoritarian Durability,” Insight Grant, 2012-2017, $175,572.
  • Social Sciences and Humanities (SSHRC) “Competitive Authoritarianism,” Research Grant 2007-2011, $62,000.
  • Connaught New Staff Matching Grant



  • Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. (with Steven Levitsky) (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).


  • “The Durability of Revolutionary Regimes,” (with Steven Levitsky) Journal of Democracy 24, No. 3 (July 2013): 5-17.
  • “Beyond Patronage: Violent Struggle, Ruling Party Cohesion and Authoritarian Durability.” (with Steven Levitsky) Perspectives on Politics 10, No. 4 (2012): 869-889
  • “Deer in Headlights: Incompetence and Weak Authoritarianism after the Cold War.” Slavic Review, 71, No. 3 (2012): 619-646
  • “The Sources of Authoritarian Control after the Cold War: East Africa and the former Soviet Union.” Post-Soviet Affairs, 28, No. 4 (2012): 424–448.
  • “Comparing Arab Revolts: Lessons of 1989.” Journal of Democracy 22, no. 4 (October 2011): 17-27.
  • Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way "Why Democracy Needs a Level Playing Field." Journal of Democracy. 21(1) 57-68 (2010)
  • Lucan Way "Debating the Color Revolutions: A Reply to My Critics" Journal of Democracy. 20, No. 1 90-97 (January 2009)
  • Lucan Way "The Real Causes of the Color Revolutions " Journal of Democracy. 19, No. 3: 55-69 (July 2008)
  • Lucan Way Authoritarian State Building and the Sources of Regime Competitiveness in the Fourth Wave: The Cases of Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine? World Politics, 57 (2): 231-265 (January 2005)
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