Dr Brian Klaas

Dr Brian Klaas

Fellow in Comparative Politics

Department of Government

+44 (0)207 955 7557
Room No
CON 6.09
Office Hours
Tuesdays 9:30-11:30 (by appointment via LSE for You)
Connect with me

About me

Dr. Brian Klaas focuses on global democracy, democratic transitions, political violence and volatility (particularly coups and civil wars), and rigged elections -- and the economic risks of all these challenges. He is also a former US campaign adviser and frequent political analyst of US domestic and foreign policy in mainstream media outlets.

Klaas is the author of "The Despot's Accomplice: How the West is Aiding & Abetting the Decline of Democracy," (Hurst & Co./Oxford University Press). He is also the co-author of the forthcoming book “How to Rig an Election” (Yale University Press, 2018) written with Professor Nic Cheeseman.

Dr. Klaas has extensive experience working in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and United States politics. He received his DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford (New College), an MPhil in Comparative Government from the University of Oxford (St. Antony's), and a Bachelor of Arts (Summa Cum Laude; Phi Beta Kappa) from Carleton College.

Klaas speaks French and is proficient in Arabic in addition to his native English. He has country-specific expertise in the politics and international relations of the United States, Thailand, Tunisia, Madagascar, Côte d’Ivoire, Belarus, and Zambia.

Klaas writes a regular column in DemocracyPost, based at The Washington Post. His writing has also recently been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Foreign Affairs, The Financial Times, Newsweek, The Telegraph, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Foreign Policy, Christian Science Monitor, Quartz, Libération (France), L'Express (France), The Globe & Mail (Canada) and many other publications.

Klaas is also a regular commentator on a wide array of television and radio outlets, including CNN, BBC News, CNN, Sky News, NPR News, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, BBC World Service, France 24, CBC News (Canada), Radio France Internationale, Al-Jazeera, ARD News (Germany), Monocle 24, and many others. Prior to becoming an academic, Dr. Klaas worked on US campaigns -- including serving as the Policy Director / Deputy Campaign Manager for Mark Dayton's successful bid for Governor of Minnesota.

Research interests

  • Democratization
  • Globalization
  • Election rigging
  • Political violence (coups d'état and civil wars)
  • International election monitoring
  • Country-specific expertise on Madagascar, Thailand, Tunisia, Côte d'Ivoire, Belarus, Zambia, and Libya

Teaching responsibilities

  • GV441: States and Markets
  • GV467: Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • GV4E2: Capitalism and Democracy

Selected publications

(full list available on brianpklaas.com)






  • From Miracle to Nightmare: An Institutional Analysis of Development Failures in Côte d’Ivoire,” Africa Today, Vol. 55, No. 1, Fall 2008.

My research