Jim Butterfield

Photo of Jim Butterfield
Jim Butterfield
Director of Graduate Studies in Political Science and Professor of Political Science
(269) 387-5696
(269) 387-5354
3352 Friedmann Hall Mail, Stop 5346
Mailing address: 
Department of Political Science
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5346 USA
  • Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 1989
  • M.A., University of Notre Dame, 1984
  • B.A., Indiana University, 1982
Teaching interests: 
  • Democratization and institutional design
  • Civil society and social movements
  • Micro approaches to poverty alleviation in developing countries
  • Russian and Central Asian politics
Research interests: 
  • Civil society's role in advocacy and development
  • Rural development in the former Soviet Union

Dr. Jim Butterfield is professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Political Science at Western Michigan University.

In 2009-10 Butterfield was a visiting Fulbright scholar in the Political Science Department at Saratov State University in Russia. He was also a visiting faculty at Kazakh State Agro-Technical University in Astana, Kazakhstan in May 2013. In the early 2000s, he was twice a visiting research associate at the University of Cape Town's Centre for African Studies in South Africa. His research interests focus on civil society activism, including small business advocacy in Russia and social mobilization for poverty alleviation in poor communities in South Africa. Butterfield is the faculty director of the Summer in Istanbul study abroad program. He is a member of the Faculty Senate International Education Council and the College of Arts and Sciences International Committee and is also fluent in Russian.

Among his publications are articles in:

  • Communist and Post-Communist Studies
  • Comparative Economic Studies
  • Comparative Politics
  • Middle Eastern Critique
  • Nationalities Papers
  • The Journal of Peasant Studies

Butterfield has also co-edited a volume on social movements in the former Soviet Union with Judith Sedaitis.

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Curriculum vitae