Natalie Letsa is a political scientist and the Wick Cary Assistant Professor of Political Economy in the Department of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Her work focuses on public opinion and political behavior in authoritarian regimes, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. She is also interested in macro-issues of regime stability and legitimization in non-democratic and transitioning regimes. In the 2018/19 academic year, she will be a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. She teaches classes on the political economy of development, African politics, and authoritarianism.
Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming at Comparative Politics, The Journal of Modern African Studies, and Democratization. Her current book project, The Autocratic Voter: Understanding Partisanship and Electoral Behavior under Authoritarianism, investigates why people choose to vote in non-competitive elections. In preparation of the manuscript, she spent 2014/15 in Cameroon conducting an original national public opinion survey in order to explore how and why people choose to engage in elections that never result in electoral turnover.
Dr. Letsa received her B.A. in Political Science from Reed College in 2009, and her Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University in 2017.