Photo of Lucan Way

Lucan Ahmad Way

Professor of Political Science
Co-Director of the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine at the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies






Room 109N, 1 Devonshire Place


Lucan Ahmad Way received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He has held fellowships at Harvard University (Harvard Academy and Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies) and the University of Notre Dame (Kellogg Fellowship).

Way’s research focuses on democratization and authoritarianism in the former Soviet Union and the developing world.  His most recent book, Pluralism by Default: Weak Autocrats and the Rise of Competitive Politics (Johns Hopkins, 2015), examines the sources political competition in the former Soviet Union. His book, Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War (with Steven Levitsky), was published in 2010 by Cambridge University Press. Way’s book and articles on competitive authoritarianism have been cited thousands of times and helped stimulate new and wide-ranging research into the dynamics of hybrid democratic-authoritarian rule.

Way has also published articles in Comparative Politics, Journal of Democracy, Perspectives on Politics, Politics & Society, Slavic Review, Studies in Comparative and International Development, World Politics, as well as in a number of area studies journals and edited volumes. His article in World Politics was awarded the Best Article Award in the “Comparative Democratization” section of the American Political Science Association in 2006. Together with Steven Levitsky, Professor Way is currently writing a book, under contract with Princeton University Press, on the durability of authoritarian regimes founded in violent revolutionary struggle.  He is Co-Director of the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine and is Co-Chair of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Democracy.

Research Interests

Post communist politics


Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (2001)

M.A. University of California, Berkeley (1995)

B.A.  Harvard College. Cambridge, MA (1991)

Awards and distinctions

Winner of the Best Article Award from the American Political Science Association’s Comparative Democratization Section, 2006

Selected Publications

Pluralism by Default: Weak Autocrats and the Rise of Competitive Politics (Johns Hopkins, 2015)

Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010) (520 pages); with Steven Levitsky

“The Myth of the Democratic Recession,” (with Steven Levitsky) Journal of Democracy forthcoming.

“The Durability of Revolutionary Regimes,” (with Steven Levitsky) Journal of Democracy 24, No. 3 (July 2013): 5-17.

“Deer in Headlights: Incompetence and Weak Authoritarianism after the Cold War.” Slavic Review, 71, No. 3 (2012): 619-646

 “Beyond Patronage: Violent Struggle, Ruling Party Cohesion and Authoritarian Durability.” (with Steven Levitsky) Perspectives on Politics 10, No. 4 (2012): 869-889

 “Authoritarian State Building and the Sources of Political Competition in the Fourth Wave: The Cases of Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine” World Politics, 57 (4) (January 2005) 231-261.


Introduction to Comparative Politics
Democracy and Dictatorship

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