Sharon Lean


Faculty Profile

Associate Professor

Secondary Title

Director of Graduate Programs






2059 Faculty Administration Building


Sharon F. Lean is Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science. She joined the Wayne State faculty in 2005. She is the recipient of Wayne State's 2016 Outstanding Graduate Director Award and the 2011 President's Award for Excellent in Teaching. From May 2018 to August 2021, she served as Associate Dean of the Graduate School. Dr. Lean regularly offers courses with a short-term study abroad component in Mexico.

Selected Publications

Lean, Sharon F. 2012. Civil Society and Electoral Accountability in Latin America Palgrave Macmillan.

Legler, Thomas, Sharon F. Lean and Dexter Boniface, eds. 2007. Promoting Democracy in the Americas, Johns Hopkins University Press.

Lean, Sharon F. et al. 2021. "Women’s Civic and Political Participation in the Developing World: Obstacles and Opportunities." Journal of International Women's Studies. 22: 9

Lean, Sharon F. and Alanna D. Jackson, 2018. “Mexican Political Development.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science. Ed. Sandy Maisel. New York: Oxford University Press.


Courses taught

  • PS 3735: Latin American Politics
  • PS 3795: Latin America in World Affairs
  • PS 5999: Special Topics: Applied Field Research (with short-term study abroad in Latin America)
  • PS 7711: Advanced Seminar in Comparative Politics: Civil Society and Democracy
  • PS 7711: Advanced Seminar in Comparative Politics: Democracy, Autocracy, Regime Change
  • PS 7730: Comparative Politics of the Developing World


Research Description

Latin American politics; elections and election monitoring; democratization and democratic consolidation; civil society and the power of non-state actors in international and domestic politics.

Affiliated Departments