Karrie Koesel

Associate Professor of Political Science; Concurrent Associate Professor, Keough School of Global Affairs

Karrie Koesel

2048 Jenkins Nanovic Halls
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

(574) 631-0829

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Karrie Koesel

Associate Professor of Political Science; Concurrent Associate Professor, Keough School of Global Affairs


Contemporary Chinese and Russian politics; authoritarianism; religion and politics

At the Keough School

Karrie Koesel is a concurrent associate professor in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. She is a faculty fellow of the Keough School’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, Nanovic Institutee for European Studies, and Pulte Institute for Global Development.


Research and Publications

She is the author of Religion and Authoritarianism: Cooperation, Conflict and the Consequences (Cambridge University Press, 2014), and her work has appeared in Perspectives on Politics, the China Quarterly, Post-Soviet Affairs, Economics and Politics, and Review of Religion and Chinese Society.

Koesel’s research has been supported by grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright program, the International Research & Exchanges Board, the Einaudi Center and East Asia Program at Cornell University, and the University of Oregon. She is an associate scholar for the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University, a researcher for the Under Caesar’s Sword Project, a member of the International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes research network, and a public intellectual fellow for the National Committee on US-China Relations.

Before joining the Notre Dame faculty, Koesel taught at the University of Oregon. She earned her PhD in government in 2009 in from Cornell University and won the 2010 American Political Science Association Aaron Wildavsky Award for the best dissertation on religion and politics.

Koesel is currently working on a book-length project, “Learning to Be Loyal: Patriotic Education in Authoritarian Regimes.” This book explores questions about how authoritarian leaders cultivate popular legitimacy and loyalty; how they socialize citizens and the future elite to be patriotic and supportive; and whether these strategies free authoritarian rulers from the need to rely so heavily on coercion to stay in power and promote political order.

She teaches courses on the politics of religion, contemporary China, comparative authoritarianism, and democracy and dictatorship.