Amir Abedi

Professor and Chair


Amir Abedi was born and raised in Germany where he obtained a degree in History and Political Science from the University of Hanover. After graduating he worked as an intern in the state chancellery (office of the Prime Minister) of Lower Saxony and in print and radio news journalism. He came to North America in 1994 to pursue graduate studies in political science.  He completed his MA and PhD in Political Science at the University of British Columbia and came to Western as an assistant professor in 2003.  Beginning in 2014, Dr. Abedi has served as department chair.

Dr. Abedi’s research interests include Comparative Parties and Party Systems, Comparative European Politics, and European Integration.  He is the author of many publications and has been a presenter at numerous national and international conferences. He is a member of the European Consortium for Political Research’s Standing Group on Extremism and Democracy, the American Political Science Association and the Canadian Political Science Association. Dr. Abedi speaks English and German fluently, adequate Farsi, and a little bit of French and Azeri.

At Western, Dr. Abedi has been active in the department’s efforts to develop Student Learning Outcomes and improve the overall undergraduate education experience.  He has also been integral to the development of international programs at the university having served on the International Programs Advisory Committee (2005-2008), the Center for International Studies Advisory Committee (2007-2010), and the International Studies Curriculum Committee (2012-2015).  He spearheaded the effort to establish a direct exchange program between the political science departments at WWU and at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany and is currently the faculty adviser for that program.

With regard to student interactions, Dr Abedi was a long-time Faculty Advisor to the International Affairs Association’s Model UN teams and is currently the faculty advisor for Model EU teams from Western.  He teaches courses on comparative politics, Western Europe and the European Union.

Research Interests

  • Comparative Politics, European Politics, Parties and Party Systems

Current Courses

PLSC 403, The European Union (Fall 2023)

PLSC 452, Comparative Political Parties and Party Systems (Winter 2024)

PLSC 302, Western Europe (Spring 2024)


Selected Publications


  • Anti-Political Establishment Parties: A Comparative Analysis (London and New York: Routledge, 2004).

Book Chapters

  • with Steffen Schneider, "Big Fish in Small Ponds: A Comparison of Dominant Parties in the Canadian Provinces and German Lander" in Matthijs Bogaards and Francoise Boucek (eds.).Dominant Parties and Democracy: Concepts, Measures, Cases and Comparisons (London and New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 77-97.

  • with Alan Siaroff, "Austria: Divergence within Limits" in Dan Hough and Charlie Jeffery (eds.).Devolution and Electoral Politics: A Comparative Exploration (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006).

Refereed Articles

  • "We Are Not In Bonn Anymore: The Impact of German Unification on Party Systems at the Federal and Land levels", German Politics 26, 4 (December 2017): 457-479.

  • with Alan Siaroff, "The Kingmaker Is Dead, Long Live The Kingmaker: Examining The Degree Of Influence Of Small Parties In The Coalition-Formation Process In Germany", German Politics 20, 2 (June 2011): 243-259.

  • with Thomas C. Lundberg, "Doomed to Failure? UKIP and the Organisational Challenges Facing Right-Wing Populist Anti-Political Establishment Parties", Parliamentary Affairs, 62, 1 (January 2009): 72-87.

  • "Challenges to established parties: The effects of party system features on the electoral fortunes of anti-political-establishment parties," European Journal of Political Research, 41, 4 (June 2002): 551-583.


Abedi CV 2022.pdf (190.74 KB)