Professor Fish's research and teaching interests include general comparative politics, democracy and authoritarianism, Russian politics, national legislatures, and religion and politics. He is the author of Are Muslims Distinctive? A Look at the Evidence (Oxford University Press, 2011), which was selected for Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles, 2012: Top 25 Books. He is also author of Democracy Derailed in Russia: The Failure of Open Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2005), which was the recipient of the Best Book Award of 2006, presented by the Comparative Democratization Section of the American Political Science Association, and Democracy from Scratch: Opposition and Regime in the New Russian Revolution (Princeton University Press, 1995). He is coauthor of The Handbook of National Legislatures: A Global Survey (Cambridge University press, 2009) and Postcommunism and the Theory of Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2001). He has published articles in many journals, including Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, Current History, the Journal of Democracy, Post-Soviet Affairs, Slavic Review, and World Politics. He has served as a Senior Fulbright Fellow and Visiting Professor at the Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia, and at the European University at St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Russia. He has also been the recipient of the Distinguished Social Sciences Teaching Award of the Colleges of Letters and Science. He appears frequently as a commentator on BBC World News TV and radio, Deutsche Welle, and other outlets.
Research Expertise and Interest
comparative politics, Russian politics, democracy, religion and politics, legislative process
March 11, 2022
The cameras are focused on the savage Russian bombardment of Ukraine and the resistance of Ukrainians and Russian protesters, but largely off-camera, the war is unfolding as a rapidly escalating economic conflict that has sent shock waves around the world.
January 24, 2022
Berkeley News talked with two veteran Russia scholars: George Breslauer and M. Steven Fish, both political scientists at UC Berkeley. Based on their decades of research and experience with contemporary Russia, they offered compelling insights into the mind and heart of Russia’s leader: his immediate objectives in Ukraine and his overarching vision for Russia. They also reflected on the U.S. response to Putin’s military threat, the field of options for both sides, and possible long-term scenarios.