Roberto Foa









Recent Publications

A World Divided: Russia, China and the West (With Margot Mollat, Han Isha, Xavier Romero, David Evans and Andrew Klassen), Cambridge Centre for the Future of Democracy, September 2022.

Subjective Well-being During the 2020-21 Global Coronavirus Pandemic: Evidence from High Frequency Time Series Data (With Mark Fabian and Sam Gilbert), PLOS One, February 2022.

Decentralization, Historical State Capacity and Public Goods Provision in Post-Soviet Russia, World Development, February 2022.

The Great Reset: Public Opinion, Populism and the Pandemic (With Xavier Romero-Vidal, Andrew J. Klassen, Joaquin Fuenzalida Concha, Marian Quednau, and Lisa S. Fenner), Cambridge Centre for the Future of Democracy, January 2022.

Why the Future Cannot be Predicted (With Yascha Mounk and Andrew Klassen), Journal of Democracy, January 2022. (Link to Online Appendix).

America After Trump: From "Clean" to "Dirty" Democracy?, Policy Studies, June 2021.

Why Strongmen Win in Weak States, Journal of Democracy, January 2021.

Youth and Satisfaction with Democracy: Reversing the Democratic Disconnect? (With Andrew Klassen, Daniella Wenger, Alex Rand and Micheal Slade), Cambridge Centre for the Future of Democracy, October 2020.

Covid-19 And Subjective Wellbeing: Separating the Effects of Lockdowns from the Pandemic (With Sam Gilbert and Mark Fabian), Bennett Institute for Public Policy, July 2020.

The Global Satisfaction with Democracy Report 2020 (With Andrew Klassen, Micheal Slade, Alex Rand and Rosie Collins), Cambridge Centre for the Future of Democracy, January 2020.

Frontier Settlement and the Spatial Variation of Civic Institutions (With Anna Nemirovskaya), Political Geography, September 2019.

Youth and the Populist Wave (With Yascha Mounk), Philosophy and Social Criticism, September 2019.

Democratic Deconsolidation in Developed Democracies, 1995-2018 (With Yascha Mounk), Harvard Center for European Studies, May 2019.

Modernization and Authoritarianism, Journal of Democracy, July 2018.

The End of the Democratic Century: Autocracy's Global Ascendance (with Yascha Mounk), Foreign Affairs, May/June 2018.

The End of the Consolidation Paradigm (with Yascha Mounk), Journal of Democracy Web Exchange, June 2017.

Persistence or Reversal of Fortune? Early State Inheritance and the Legacies of Colonial Rule, Politics and Society, June 2017.

Set-Point Theory and Societal Collapse: The Case of Russia (With Ronald Inglehart, Tatiana Karabchuk and Eduard Ponarin), Journal of Happiness Studies, June 2017.

The Signs of Deconsolidation (With Yascha Mounk), Journal of Democracy, Vol 28:1. January 2017.

The Weakness of Postcommunist Civil Society Reassessed (With Grzegorz Ekiert), European Journal of Political Research, Vol 56:1. January 2017.

The Danger of Deconsolidation: The Democratic Disconnect (With Yascha Mounk), Journal of Democracy, Vol 27:3. July 2016. Winner (early draft) of the 2015 Magna Carta Prize.

How State Capacity Varies Within Frontier States: A Multi-Country Subnational Analysis (With Anna Nemirovskaya). Governance, Jan 2016.

The Last Mile in Analysing Well-Being and Poverty: Indices of Social Development (With Irene van Staveren, Ellen Webbink, and Arjan de Haan). Forum for Social Economics, March 2013. Winner of the 2014 Prize for Social Economics.

Social Capital and Cross-Country Environmental Performance (with Hari B. Dulal and Stephen Knowles). Journal of Environment and Development, vol. 20 no. 2, June, 2011.

Development, Freedom, and Rising Happiness: A Global Perspective, 1981-2007 (with Ronald Inglehart, Christan Welzel and Chris Peterson). Perspectives in Psychological Science, vol. 3 no. 4, July 2008.

Book Chapters and Reviews

Civil Society: from Myth to Reality (with Grzegorz Ekiert). In Jacques Rupnik (ed.), 1989 as a Political World Event: Democracy, Europe and the New International System in the Age of Globalization. New York: Routledge.

A Review of 'The Capitalist Personality. Face-to-Face Sociality and Economic Change in the Post-Communist World' by Christopher S. Swader (London, Routledge, 2013), Politics, Culture and Socialization, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 274-7.

Banking on Social Institutions for Poverty Reduction (with Hari B. Dulal). In Hari B. Dulal (ed.), Poverty Reduction in a Changing Climate. New York: Lexington Books.

Religion and Values in a Globalized Era (with Ronald Inglehart). In Saskia Sassen, Peter Singer, Roberto Stefan Foa, Wallace Broecker et al. The Multiple Faces of Globalization. Madrid : BBVA.

Prospects for Democratic Consolidation in Nepal (with Hari B. Dulal). In Surendra Devkota (ed.) Nepal in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Nova Science.

Policy Papers

Household Risk Preparation Indices: Construction and Diagnostics. World Development Report 2014 Background Papers. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Methodology of the Social Development Indices (with Jeffery Tanner). International Institute for Social Studies Working Paper # 2012-04. The Hague: International Institute of Social Studies.

Indices of Social Development: Research Applications. ISS Working Paper Series, Jan 2011.

The Role of Social Institutions in Determining Aid Effectiveness. International Institute for Social Studies Working Paper # 2012-02. The Hague: International Institute of Social Studies.

The Economic Rationale for Social Cohesion. Perspectives on Global Development, OECD Development Centre 2011. Paris: OECD.

Social and Governance Dimensions of Climate Change: Implications for Policy. World Bank DECRG working paper series, October 2009.

Some Random and Very Poorly Updated Media and Journalism Links

Interview on Satisfaction with Democracy
An extended interview on the findings of the January 2020 Satisfaction with Democracy report - one of the few to really get in to a more detailed academic debate around the findings.

'Confidence in Democracy is at a Low Point'
A summary of some the findings of the inaugural Centre for the Future of Democracy Report, published in The Atlantic.

'The West has a Resentment Epidemic'
A piece on the economic geography of populism, in Foreign Policy.

Interview with ABC Radio (audio mp3) on Trust
A conversation with ABC Radio on the topic of political trust, with Bill Emmott (The Economist) and Rachel Botsman, and hosted by Geraldine Doogue.

Interview with ABC Radio (audio mp3) on Populism and Liberal Democracy
An interview with ABC Radio on the rise of populism, and the malaise of contemporary liberal democracy.

'It's the Globalization, Stupid', Foreign Policy.

'Democracy losing support among the young', a radio interview about trends in support for democracy. ABC Radio.

'The Historiography of Medieval India Needs a Middle Way' (With Ajay Verghese), The Wire.

'Losing Faith in the Process' (With Yascha Mounk), New York Times.

The Last Word: An Interview with Daniel Bell (Conducted With Thomas Meaney)
The last interview with great American sociologist Daniel Bell, a few months before his death, at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in January 2011.

A Holiday in North Korea
A (pseudonymously published) travelogue of a trip to the Hermit Kingdom.

Interview with the Guardian (audio mp3)
An interview that the Guardian did with me for their weekly podcast, discussing the causes of happiness.