Robert Mattes


  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am willing to work with students interested in the areas of voting, elections, public opinion, legislatures and democratization.

1988 …2019

Research output per year

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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 ( I am also co-founder and co-Principal Investigator of the African Legislatures Project, a study of legislatures and legislators in 17 countries(  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 (  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 → …

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ALP: African Legislatures Project

Mattes, R., Mozaffar, S. & Barkan, J.

1/01/08 → …

Project: Research

Global Barometer Surveys

Chu, Y., Mattes, R., Lagos, M., Haerpfer, C., Tessler, M. & Shastri, S.

1/06/00 → …

Project: Research

Research Output

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

Clayton, A., Josefsson, C., Mattes, R. & Mozaffar, S., 15 Jan 2019, In : Comparative Political Studies. 52, 1, p. 69-101 33 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 5 Citations (Scopus)
    25 Downloads (Pure)

    The consequences of partisanship in Africa

    Mattes, R. & Kroenke, M., 31 Dec 2019, Research Handbook on Political Partisanship. Oscarsson, H. & Holmberg, S. (eds.). Cheltenham, UK, 15 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Prizes

    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)

  • Activities

    • 11 Journal peer review

    British Journal of Political Science (Journal)

    Robert Mattes (Peer reviewer)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesJournal peer review

    International Political Science Review (Journal)

    Robert Mattes (Peer reviewer)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesJournal peer review