Mathias Poertner joined the faculty of the Department of International Affairs as an Assistant Professor in fall 2019. In 2018, Poertner earned his PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, where his fields of study included comparative politics, methodology and formal theory, and Latin American politics. In 2010, he completed a master’s degree with distinction at the School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington, DC, where he specialized in international politics. He earned another master’s from UC Berkeley in political science in 2012. He studied at Dickinson College as an undergraduate and received his bachelor’s degree in political science and law from the University of Bremen in Germany in 2009.
Prior to joining the Bush School, Poertner was a postdoctoral fellow with the Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP) network (based at UC Berkeley).
His research lies at the intersection of political behavior, democratic accountability, political economy, and political methodology. He is currently writing a book, Creating Partisans: The Organizational Roots of New Parties in Latin America, which explores why some political parties in new democracies are successful in creating mass partisanship and securing stable electoral support, while most fail to take root in society and disappear again quickly. Poertner has published in several journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Political Analysis, World Development, and the Journal of Experimental Political Science. Bridging academia and the policy world, he has also served as an international election observer for the Organization of American States and worked on development policy evaluations for USAID and other agencies.