Paul Friesen

Paul Friesen

Fields of Study: Comparative Politics, American Politics


Areas of Interest: African Politics, Political Behavior, Elections, Party Systems, Research Methods

Paul Friesen is a PhD candidate in political science and a PhD Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Paul’s research centers on developing a more in-depth understanding of political behavior, party attachment, and electoral competition across African countries. His dissertation explores the behavioral mechanisms driving imbalanced levels of support between ruling and opposition parties, including fieldwork in Botswana and Zimbabwe. While at Notre Dame, Paul has served as a teaching assistant, graduate statistical consultant for the Center of Social Research, research assistant for the Varieties of Democracy project, and comparative politics student representative. His published work appears in Democratization and Democracy and Society.

Paul holds a B.A. in International Studies from Taylor University and a Master of Public Policy with a specialization in international development from Michigan State University. Prior to pursing his doctoral degree, Paul worked in Washington D.C. as a development professional and political analyst at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, assisting the Southern and East Africa team in winning and implementing democracy strengthening projects. He also served as a research assistant for the Afrobarometer and has conducted fieldwork in Ghana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.