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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Born in the United States, I spent the past 25 years researching and teaching in South Africa, before moving to Strathclyde in 2016.  My research focuses on issues of democratization, by studying voting, public opinion, and elected legislatures, in democratizing countries in Africa and particularly South Africa.

Research Interests

I work on issues of democratization primarlily through the tools of survey research but also employ other methods of institutional analysis.  I am co-founder and Senior Adviser of Afrobarometer, a regular survey of public opinion in 35 African countries (www.afrobarometer.org). I am also co-founder and co-Principal Investigator of the African Legislatures Project, a study of legislatures and legislators in 17 countries(www.cssr.uct.ac.za/alp).  Finally, I am the founder and Principal Investigator of the South African National Election Study, a longitudinal series of post-election surveys dating back to South AFrica's first democratic election of 1994 (www.cssr.uct.ac.za/daru/sanes).  These studies are also carried out in association with the Comparative National Elections Project, and Comparative Study of Electoral Systems project.

Expertise & Capabilities

Survey Research

Comparative Politics

African Politics

South African Politics

United States Politics

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Master of Arts, University of Delaware

Bachelor of Arts, Youngstown State University

External positions

Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town

1 Jan 2017 → …

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 3 Similar Profiles
democracy Social Sciences
ANC Social Sciences
election Social Sciences
opposition Social Sciences
public opinion Social Sciences
voter Social Sciences
citizen Social Sciences
apartheid Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1994 2018

1 Citation (Scopus)

In whose interest? Gender and mass-elite priority congruence in Sub-Saharan Africa

Clayton, A., Josefsson, C., Mattes, R. & Mozaffar, S., 19 Mar 2018, In : Comparative Political Studies. 33 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
women's representative
women's rights

Social and political trust in developing countries: sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America

Mattes, R. & Moreno, A., 1 Mar 2018, Oxford Handbook of Social and Political Trust. Uslaner, E. M. (ed.). Oxford, p. 357-382 26 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Latin America
developing country


Academy of Science of South Africa

Robert Mattes (Recipient), 2014

Prize: Election to learned society

Liphart/Przeworski/Verba Data Set Award

Robert Mattes (Recipient), Michael Bratton (Recipient) & E. Gyimah-Boadi (Recipient), 2004

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)