Daniel Friedheim, PhD

Assistant Teaching Professor of Political Science

Daniel Friedheim

Office: 3021-B MacAlister
Phone: 215.571.3515

Curriculum Vitae: Download


  • BA, Political Science, 1981
  • Certificate, Latin America Area Studies, 1983
  • MPhil, Comparative Politics and International Relations, 1984
  • PhD, Political Science, 1998


This is my fourth year teaching here at Drexel, but I have been teaching about or working on international affairs more than two decades. My continuing research interest has been how states and societies interact to help or hinder transitions to democracy from authoritarian rule. And, I am intrigued by how individual states, international organizations or the whole international system try to "promote" democracy but often fail. While I study democratization around the world, my regional expertise is Latin America and Europe, where I have lived, studied, worked and conducted research. (I speak passable Spanish, Portuguese and German.)

In addition to teaching International Politics, Foreign Policy, and Latin America and Eastern Europe politics, I have published articles on democratic transitions, civil society, informal empire, and foreign policy in the journals International Organization, East European Politics & Societies, and German Politics and chapters of Cambridge University Press books. The Social Science Research Council, Fulbright Commission, American Council of Learned Societies, and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) have funded my research.

Before becoming a professor, I served several years as a tenured US Foreign Service Officer in the US State Department, including assignments in Brazil and Mexico, as well as the crisis-management Operations Center and the traveling Secretariat Staff. I also have worked full-time on policy at the World Bank, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Inter-American Press Association.

After earning my PhD in Political Science with distinction at Yale, I went on to teach full-time at Dartmouth, American University (DC) and the University of Mary Washington (VA). I have presented papers at the American Political Science Association, Northeastern Political Science Association, the German Studies Association, and Midwest Latin American Studies Association. Most recently I presented “Challenges of Arab Democratization in Light of the Latin 3rd Wave” last fall at a panel I organized on “The Arab Uprisings & Democratization.” Other recent presentations addressed the American “informal empire” in Latin America, simultaneous political and economic transitions in Eastern Europe, and how college courses could better “internationalize” undergraduates.