Professor Robert Mattes


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.


The consequences of partisanship in Africa : cognitive lens or tribal straightjacket?
Mattes Robert, Kroenke Matthias
Research Handbook on Political Partisanship (2019) (2019)
In whose interest? Gender and mass-elite priority congruence in Sub-Saharan Africa
Clayton Amanda, Josefsson Cecilia, Mattes Robert, Mozaffar Shaheen
Comparative Political Studies Vol 52, pp. 69-101 (2019)
Social and political trust in developing countries : sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America
Mattes Robert, Moreno Alejandro
Oxford Handbook of Social and Political Trust (2018) (2018)
Support for democracy
Mattes Robert
Oxford Research Encyclopedia in Politics (2018) (2018)
South African politics and society
Mattes Robert
Comparative Governance (2017) (2017)
The surprising growth in minority support for the 'Rainbow Nation'
Mattes Robert
Rethinking Reconciliation (2017) (2017)

more publications

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.

Professional activities

International Journal of Transitional Justice (Journal)
Peer reviewer
International Political Science Review (Journal)
Peer reviewer
British Journal of Political Science (Journal)
Peer reviewer
American Political Science Review (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Democratization (Journal)
Peer reviewer
International Journal of Public Opinion Research (Journal)
Peer reviewer

more professional activities


African Legislatures Project
Mattes, Robert (Principal Investigator) Mozaffar, Shaheen (Principal Investigator) Barkan, Joel (Principal Investigator)
Global Barometer Surveys
Chu, Yun-han (Principal Investigator) Mattes, Robert (Principal Investigator) Lagos, Marta (Principal Investigator) Haerpfer, Christian (Principal Investigator) Tessler, Mark (Principal Investigator) Shastri, Sandeep (Principal Investigator)
Mattes, Robert (Principal Investigator) Gyimah-Boadi, E. (Principal Investigator) Bratton, Michael (Principal Investigator) Logan, Carolyn (Co-investigator) Dulani, Boniface (Co-investigator) Mitullah, Winnie (Co-investigator)
A regular survey of representative samples of citizens in 35 countries across Africa that measures people's well-being, and their preferences, evaluations and experiences with elected leaders and political institutions.
South African National Election Study
Mattes, Robert (Principal Investigator) Schulz-Herzenberg, Collette (Principal Investigator)
Comparative National Elections Project
Mattes, Robert (Co-investigator) Gunther, Richard (Principal Investigator) Beck, Paul (Principal Investigator) Magalhaes, Pedro (Principal Investigator) Moreno, Alejandro (Principal Investigator)

more projects