University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Amel Ahmed

Professional Title: 

Associate Professor of Political Science


406 Thompson Hall


Office Hours: 

Fall 2023: by appointment


BA, Dartmouth College; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania


Professor Ahmed's main area of specialization is democratic studies, with a special interest in elections, voting systems, legislative politics, party development, and voting rights. She examines these issues in historical and comparative perspective and her work combines a regional focus on Europe and the United States.  She is author of “Democracy and the Politics of Electoral System Choice: Engineering Electoral Dominance” (Cambridge University Press, 2013) which won the Best Book Award from the European Politics and Society Section of the American Political Science Association. Her new book, entitled When Democracy Divides: The Regime Question in European and American Political Development (forthcoming, Princeton University Press), examines the dynamics and long-term impact of regime contention on political development in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the United States throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries. She is currently working on a new book entitled Democracies in America: Understanding Conflict Democratic Attitudes, which seeks to understand regime contention in the U.S. today through ground-up investigation of public conceptions of democracy. She also has a special interest in research methods and has written about mixed-method research designs, the position of historical analysis within the social sciences, and comparative areas studies. Her work has appeared in various journals including: Comparative Political Studies, Perspectives on Politics, DemocratizationStudies in Comparative International Development, and Journal of Politics. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of Comparative Politics, West European Politics, American Political Development, Democratization, Electoral Studies, and Research Methods.

Area of Study: 

  • American politics
  • Comparative politics

Curriculum Vitae: 

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  • Political Science