Dr. Lars Pelke

Dr. Lars Pelke

Postdoctoral researcher
Room: Room 4.025

Dr Lars Pelke is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Political Science (Professorship of Prof Dr Katrin Kinzelbach) in a joint research project with the V-Dem Institute on “Academic Freedom Index: An Innovative Resource for Research and for Protecting Freedom in the Academic Sector“.

Lars studied political science and public law at Heidelberg University and received his PhD in political science from Heidelberg University in July 2021 for his thesis titled “Rethinking Inequality under Autocracy. Parties, Citizens and Preferences“. His paper-based PhD thesis investigated whether and how the institutional foundations of autocracies determine economic and political inequalities, and whether and how these inequalities affect ordinary citizens in the short and long-term. His work has been published in Democratization, Contemporary Politics, Swiss Political Science Review, Comparative Governance and Politics, among others.

Lars is interested in authoritarian regimes, conceptualization and measurement of regime transformation episodes, political economy of inequalities, and determinants and consequences of academic freedom. Before joining the FAU in February 2022, Lars was research fellow and lecture at Heidelberg University and research fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies. Lars’ current publications and his research can be found at his website.


2015 B.A. Political Science and Public Law, Heidelberg University

2017 M.A. Political Science and Public Law, Heidelberg University

2018-2019 Research Fellow German Institute for Global and Area Studies

2019-2022 Research Fellow and Lecture Heidelberg University

2021-2022 Research Fellow German Institute for Global and Area Studies

2022- today Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute of Political Science, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg

Research interests

Academic freedom

Authoritarian regimes

Democratization and autocratization

Political economy of inequality

Measurement of regime transformation episodes


Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Pelke, Lars . (2021). Party institutionalization, authoritarian regime types andwomen’s political equality. Contemporary Politics, doi:10.1080/13569775.2021.1908724.
  • Pelke, Lars & Aurel Croissant (2021). Conceptualizing and Measuring Autocratization Episodes. Swiss Political Science Review. doi:10.1111/spsr.12437.
  • Pelke, Lars (2020). Inclusionary regimes, party institutionalization and redistribution under authoritarianism. Democratization, 27 (7), 1301–1323. doi:10.1080/13510347.2020.1786683.
  • Pelke, Lars (2020). Economic inequality, income, and their effects on electoral and civil society participation in authoritarian regimes. Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft, 14 (4), 269–297. doi:10.1007/s12286-020-00463-4.
  • Pelke, Lars & Friesen, Paul (2019). Democratization Articles Dataset: an introduction. Democratization, 26 (1), 140–160. doi:10.1080/13510347.2018.1504778.
  • Pelke, Lars & Croissant, Aurel (2018). Autokratische Redistribution – Institutionen, Legitimation und die Umverteilung von Einkommen in Nicht-Demokratien. Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft, 12 (3), 509–538. doi:10.1007/s12286-018-0392-y.

Articles in Edited Volumes

  • Croissant, Aurel & Pelke, Lars (2021). Democracy and Development in Asia. In: Elgar Research Handbook on Democracy and Development, eds. Gordon Crawford and Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai, Cheltenham, UK, Edward Elgar.

Book Reviews and Datasets

  • Pelke, Lars (2022). Book review of “Property without Rights. Origins and Consequences of the Property Rights Gap”, by Michael Albertus. Cambridge University Press. 2021 Democratization. Online First doi:10.1080/13510347.2021.2019220.
  • Pelke, Lars (2021). Book review of “Varieties of Democracy: Measuring Two Centuries of Political Change”, by Michael Coppedge et al. Democratization, 28 (1), 258–259. doi:10.1080/13510347.2020.1729746.
  • Pelke, Lars (2020). Book review of “When soldiers rebel”, by Kristin A. Harkness. Democratization, 26 (5), 890–892. doi:10.1080/13510347.2019.1569630.
  • Pelke, Lars & Friesen, Paul (2018). Democratization Articles Dataset. Harvard Dataverse, Version 1. doi:10.7910/DVN/GJIADC.