Karrie J. Koesel

Karrie J. Koesel

Associate Professor

Fields of Study: Comparative Politics

Research and Teaching Interests: Religion and Politics; Democracy and Dictatorship; Political Education; Contemporary Chinese and Russian Politics

Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Virtual Only)

2048 Jenkins Nanovic Halls




Fellow, Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies
Fellow, Nanovic Institute for European Studies
Fellow, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies
Fellow, Institute for Educational Initiatives

Karrie J. Koesel is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame where she specializes in the study of contemporary Chinese and Russian politics, authoritarianism, and religion and politics. She is the author of Religion and Authoritarianism: Cooperation, Conflict and the Consequences (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and co-editor of Citizens & the State in Authoritarian Regimes: Comparing China and Russia (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). Her work has appeared in World Politics, Perspectives on Politics, The China Quarterly, Post-Soviet Affairs, Economics and Politics, Demokratizatsiya, and the Review of Religion and Chinese Society.

Her research has been supported by grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Fulbright program, the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), the Einaudi Center and East Asia Program at Cornell University, Kellogg Institute and Keough School of Global Affairs at Notre Dame, and the University of Oregon.

Koesel is a member of the International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes (IDCAR) research network, and a Public Intellectual Fellow for the National Committee on US-China Relations. She served as an Associate Scholar of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University and a researcher for the Under Caesar’s Sword Project at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, University of Notre Dame.

Before joining the ND faculty she taught at the University of Oregon. She earned her Ph.D. in 2009 in government from Cornell University and won the 2010 American Political Science Association Aaron Wildavsky Award for the best dissertation on religion and politics.

Koesel is currently working on a book-length project, “Learning to Be Loyal: Patriotic Education in Authoritarian Regimes.” This book explores how authoritarian leaders cultivate popular legitimacy and loyalty among young people; how they socialize citizens and the future elite to be patriotic and supportive; and whether these strategies free authoritarian rulers from the need to rely so heavily on coercion to stay in power and promote political order.

She teaches courses on the politics of religion, contemporary China, comparative authoritarianism, and democracy and dictatorship.