Daniel Treisman

Professor of Political Science (Interim Director 2023-2024)
Department: Department of Political Science
3365 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487
Tel: 310-794-5875



Daniel Treisman is a professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 2021-22, he is a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

A graduate of Oxford University (B.A. Hons.) and Harvard University (Ph.D. 1995), he has published five books and numerous articles in leading political science and economics journals including The American Political Science Review and The American Economic Review, as well as in public affairs journals such as Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy.

A former lead editor of The American Political Science Review, he has served as associate editor or on the editorial boards of the journals Post-Soviet Affairs, Comparative Political Studies, Economics and Politics, Politeia, and the Russian Journal of Economics.

He has served as a consultant for the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and USAID. In Russia, he has been a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Higher School of Economics and a member of the Jury of the National Prize in Applied Economics.

He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution (Stanford) and the Institute for Human Sciences (Vienna), and has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the US and the Smith Richardson Foundation. At UCLA, he has served as acting director of the Center for European and Russian Studies.

His latest book, co-authored with Sergei Guriev, Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century, will be published by Princeton University Press in Spring 2020. The Return: Russia’s Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev (The Free Press, 2011) was one of the Financial Times’ “Best Political Books of 2011.”

Since 2014, he has been the director of the Russia Political Insight Project, an international collaboration funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, to investigate political decisionmaking in Putin’s Russia. This resulted in the publication of The New Autocracy: Information, Politics, and Policy in Putin’s Russia (Brookings Institution Press 2018).

Research Interests

Russian politics and economics, comparative political economy, democratization, the politics of authoritarian states, political decentralization, and corruption