Roberto Foa








  Talk at the European Parliament
November 2023
It was an honour to deliver the opening presentation for the Council of Europe's 2023 Forum for Democracy, held on the floor of the European Parliament.

COE Talk

New Articles
May 2023
Two new papers out this month, including an article on effects of the pandemic in Frontiers, and a study that uses web search data to model public opinion dynamics in Russia since the onset of the war in Ukraine.

A World Divided: A Report on Shifting Global Allegiances
October 2022
Our team have just released a report on shifting global attitudes to Russia, China and the United States, harmonising data from 30 sources that cover 97% of world population, including 83% of the world in 2022 in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. This report reflects the hard work and dedication of our Spring MPP work placement candidates, Margot Mollat and Han Isha, as well as David Evans, who joined us over the summer.

World Values Survey Executive Committee, Wave 8 (2023-2026)
May 2022
Very glad to have been given the opportunity to serve on the Executive Committee of the World Values Survey, and look forward to helping with the planning and organisation of the eighth wave of surveys (2023-2026). It is an honour to be elected to serve alongside such outstanding colleagues, as well as continue working with our excellent principal investigators across the globe, and to have this opportunity to take the world's longest-running global survey project to the next round.

New Articles
January 2022
Several new articles in academic journals this month, including a study on democratic decentralisation accepted for publication in World Development, a paper on subjective wellbeing during the pandemic published in PLOS One, and a response article in the latest Journal of Democracy. In addition, we are proud to be publishing our third Centre for the Future of Democracy report on democratic attitudes and the pandemic.

Policy Studies
June 2021
New piece in Policy Studies, examining the legacy of the Trump administration for U.S. democracy.

New Articles
January 2021
New piece in the latest Journal of Democracy, entitled Why Strongmen Win in Weak States, examining the bases of authoritarian populism in developing democracies, and the neglected role of eroding state capacity.

Second Centre for the Future of Democracy Report
October 2020
Excited to be releasing our second report on satisfaction with democracy, examining youth dissatisfaction and the generational divide, using data from almost 5m respondents across approximately 4000 country surveys conducted since 1973.

Happiness Under Lockdown
July 2020
Together with colleagues Mark Fabian and Sam Gilbert at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, we have released our first report into the effects of lockdown policies on subjective well-being. This research takes advantage of unique data provided by YouGov in the form of the Great Britain Mood Tracker - a weekly survey on subjective wellbeing.

YouGov-Cambridge Centre for Public Opinion Research
March 2020
Excited to be heading up the YouGov-Cambridge Centre for Public Opinion Research - a joint research centre between YouGov and the Cambridge University Department of Politics and International Studies, which promotes in-depth collaboration between survey practitioners and academic experts.

Satisfaction with Democracy Report, 2020
January 2020
Very pleased to be launching our inaugural report on satisfaction with democracy, which makes use of data from more than 4m respondents and 3500 surveys since 1973 to examine trends in democratic legitimacy across the world.

Geography of Populism
September 2019
  New piece in Foreign Policy on the economic geography of populism, making use of subnational electoral and economic data.

New Articles
July 2019
Pleased to announce two new journal publications: Frontier Settlement and the Spatial Variation of Civic Institutions, in Political Geography (joint with Anna Nemirovskaya), and Youth and the Populist Wave (with Yascha Mounk) in Philosophy and Social Criticism.

Moving to Cambridge
May 2019
After two and a half enjoyable and productive years at Melbourne, from the end of this year I'll be joining the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge.

New Publications
April 2019
Following last summer's piece on authoritarian modernization in the Journal of Democracy, pleased to publish this piece in the Wall Street Journal with Yascha Mounk, exploring the same ideas. In addition, our latest working paper, Democratic Deconsolidation in Developed Democracies, 1981-2018 is now available at the Harvard University Center for European Studies paper series website.

New Articles
July 2018
Two new publications: The End of the Democratic Century: Autocracy's Global Ascendance (with Yascha Mounk) in the May/June 2018 edition of Foreign Affairs, and Modernization and Authoritarianism in the July 2018 edition of the Journal of Democracy.

Joining the Electoral Integrity Project
February 2018
Very glad to be joining as a Fellow of the Electoral Integrity Project at the University of Sydney this semester - and having this opportunity to participate in the ongoing work and activities of the institute.

Vice-Chancellor's Grant: World Values Survey in Indonesia
January 2018
Delighted to be leading a team together with Timothy Gravelle and Erik Baekkeskov to conduct a large-sample survey of the World Values Survey in Indonesia, with a target fieldwork date in 2018. The survey will not only be the first survey in the country in more than a decade, but also one of the few large-sample (+3,000 respondent) surveys within the World Values Survey (along with India and China). With large-sample survey fieldwork we will be able to use the data in order to conduct multi-region subnational comparison, geospatial analysis using georeferencing.

ARC Discovery Grant - Using Big Data to Understand Political Debate
November 2017
In November we received news that our ARC Discovery Grant, led by Professor Jenny Lewis ("Understanding Political Debate and Policy Decisions using Big Data") has been approved and will receive AUD $352,514. I'll be contributing analysis on available data and trends in comparative survey indicators, to match with the social media and automated content analysis work that will be coming from our colleagues from computer science.

Early Career Research Grant - Mapping Changing Values in Bangladesh
October 2017
In October 2017, I was awarded a highly competitive grant by the University of Melbourne, for early career researchers who demonstrate clear evidence of high research potential to progress their careers. The grant amounts AUD $24,787 and will be used to support the conduct of World Values Survey fieldwork in Bangladesh in 2018.

Conferences for Summer 2017
July 2017
June and July have been another busy summer of conference presentations, with papers at the European Political Science Association (Milan), the World Association of Public Opinion Research (Lisbon), the European Survey Research Association (Lisbon), and the Council for European Studies (Glasgow).

New Articles: Politics and Society, the Journal of Democracy, the Journal of Happiness Studies
June 2017
Several new journal publications now out: "Persistence or Reversal of Fortune?" in Politics and Society, "Set-Point Theory and Societal Collapse" in the Journal of Happiness Studies, and "The End of the Consolidation Paradigm" (with Yascha Mounk) for the Journal of Democracy.