Michael Cain
Professor of Political Science

Photo of Michael Cain

Departments: Political Science
Office: Kent Hall 105
Email: mjgcain@smcm.edu
Phone: 240-895-4899

Bio:

Dr. Michael Cain is director of the Center for the Study of Democracy and professor of Political Science at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.  He has also served as chair of the Political Science Department for five years.  Prior to joining the faculty at St. Mary’s College, Dr. Cain taught at the University of Mississippi, the University of Warsaw and University of Maryland.  Since 2002 he was as a senior technical adviser to the US government on energy development issues working in Bulgaria, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Romania, Tajikistan and Ukraine.  In 2007, he published an edited volume entitled, Fighting Poverty and Reforming Social Security: What Can Post-Soviet States Learn from New Democracies of Central Europe?  His work has appeared in national and international academic journals, covering a wide range of topics in domestic and international politics.  In 2011 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Macau, China.  He has received post-doctorate fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Kennan Institute and IREX, the International Research and Exchanges Board.  His most recent work “Linking the Caspian to Europe: Repercussions of the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline,” was published by the Rethink Institute(2012) in Washington DC where he also serves as a visiting fellow.

Education:

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Courses

  • American Politics [POSC 101]
  • Political Analysis II [POSC 301]
  • Introduction to Democratic Political Thought [POSC 262]
  • Studies in Comparative Politics [POSC 462]

Research Interests

My most recent research interests have focused on problems related to democratic development in East European and Eurasian countries. I have focused on problems of poverty in the region, problems of reforms in the economy, especially reforms of utilities, and institutional reforms associated with social welfare programs. I have also been interested in problems of democratization for many years, especially problems of democracy in transitional environments.

A related research interest focuses on the role of international actors in promoting change in societies undergoing democratic transitions. I have been especially interested in understanding the role played by the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development in democratic reforms. An underlying theoretical question associated with this research concerns how multilateral and bilateral actors diffuse policies throughout the world.

Research Areas for St. Mary's Projects in Political Science

My most recent research interests have focused on problems related to democratic development in East European and Eurasian states. I have focused on problems of poverty in the region, problems of reforms in the economy, especially reforms of utilities, and institutional reforms associated with social welfare and poverty programs.

I have also been interested in problems of democratization for many years, especially problems of democracy in transitional environments. Democratization is an important and fruitful area of study not only because of its obvious policy implications but also because political scientists do not yet fully understand the interrelationships of critical elements in democracy, the preconditions for democratic consolidation, the dynamics of market development with democratic transitions, and the role of external assistance in promoting democracy.

I approach these issues from empirical and policy perspectives and welcome students who have an interest in these types of issues regardless of their geographic area of interests. I am also interested in student projects devoted to understanding World Bank policies and behaviors in developing countries as it relates to democracy and markets.