Steve Wuhs

Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and Senior International Officer

Photo of Steve Wuhs

Areas of Expertise

  • Internationalization in Higher Education
  • Parties and Elections, especially in Mexico, Latin America, and Germany
  • Reproductive Politics in Mexico


Ph.D. 2002 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

M.A. 1997 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

B.A. 1994 Macalester College

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Meet Steve Wuhs

Steve Wuhs is Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Senior International Officer of the University of Redlands.  Prior to his appointment, Wuhs served as Professor of Political Science and Associate Provost for Internationalization.  

He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in political science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and B.A. in sociology and Spanish at Macalester College.  He is a former fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (at the Technical University of Dresden), the Center for U.S-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico City.

As a researcher, Wuhs studies party organization and competition, with a particular emphasis on forces on the political right.  His current work, in collaboration with Professor Jennifer Nelson, focuses on reproductive politics in Mexico following the legalization of abortion in Mexico City.  As a fellow of the AVH Foundation, Wuhs researched how political parties organize themselves differently across a country's territory - taking his earlier research interests in party organization and decision-making and placing them in a spatial context.  His work in eastern Germany, including interviews with party leaders, social movement leaders, and members of civic organizations as well as extensive archival research, grapples with the territorial differences in how parties organize in newly democratized spaces - drawing specifically on the experiences of the Christian Democratic Union across the states and counties of the former GDR.  He began his research on party development focused on the development of Mexico's pro-democratic political opposition in the 1990s, published in his book Savage Democracy.

Professor Wuhs was the director of the University of Redlands' exchange program in Salzburg, Austria - a program with more than 50 years of history introducing Redlands students to European history, politics, and culture through in-class studies and extensive group travel.  Its curriculum emphasized Austria's position at the crossroads of Europe, and included program-sponsored travel to Vienna and Budapest, through the Balkan peninsula, and across the former East Germany.  

Degrees held

Ph.D. 2002 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

M.A. 1997 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

B.A. 1994 Macalester College


  • Previous fellowships
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the Technical University of Dresden
  • Center for US-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego
  • Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas in Mexico City.
  • Research

    Professor Wuhs’s research examines how political parties build and maintain linkages with collective social actors, their members, and voters, with a special eye to how those relationships affect the quality of citizenship - both in his current Germany project and in prior work focused on Mexico.  In his book, Savage Democracy, he examines how the leaders of Mexico's Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) and Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) responded to the competitive pressures of democratization by transforming how they picked their candidates for public office, reworking their central party offices, and designing new ways of linking with organizations from Mexican civil society.   

    He has also published articles on Mexico's PAN and on processes of candidate selection in Mexico and the United States, including articles in American Behavioral Scientist, Party Politics, Journal of Politics, International Studies Review, Election Law Journal and Estudios Mexicanos/Mexican Studies.     

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to American Politics
  • The Study of Politics
  • Latin American Politics and Development
  • European Politics and Development
  • Political Change
  • Comparative Parties and Elections
  • Territorial Politics: Mexico and the United States
  • Political Geography
  • Advanced Seminar: Left and Right
  • Advanced Seminar: Comparative Local Politics
  • Capstone in Political Science



2008. Savage Democracy: Institutional Change and Party Development in Mexico.  University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.  Paperback edition published 2011.


2019. (with Eric McLaughlin) “Explaining German Electoral Geography: Evidence from the eastern states.” German Politics and Society37 (1): 1-23.

2016. “Paths and Places of Party Formation: The Post-Unification Development of Germany’s CDU.” Comparative Politics49 (1): 43-62.

2016. (with Kathleen Bruhn) “Competition, Decentralization, and Candidate Selection in Mexico.” American Behavioral Scientist60 (7): 819-836.

2013. “Inclusion and its Moderating Effects on Ideas, Interests, and Institutions: Mexico’s Partido Acción Nacional.” Party Politics19 (2): 187-209.

2010. “From the Boardroom to the Chamber: Business Interests and Party Politics in Mexico.” Journal of Politics in Latin America1: 107-130.

2009.  “Las reglas ‘democráticas’ y las implicaciones antidemocráticas: Selección de candidatos presidenciales en el PAN y el PRD para las elecciones de 2006.” Política y Gobierno (Special Issue: Elecciones en México): 51-76.

2007. “The Legacies of Transition from One-Party Rule: Mexico in Comparative Perspective.” International Studies Review9 (2): 348-356.

2006.  (with Scott R. Meinke and Jeffrey K. Staton) “State Delegate Selection Rules for Presidential Nominations, 1972-2000.” Journal of Politics68 (1): 180-193.

2006. “Democratization and the Dynamics of Candidate Selection Rule Change in Mexico, 1991-2003.” Estudios Mexicanos/Mexican Studies22(1): 33-55.

2004. “Selecting Candidates: What Mexico Should (and Shouldn’t) Learn from the United States.” Election Law Journal3(3): 521-529.

Book Chapters

n.d. “Parliaments and Regionalism.” In Cyril Benoit and Olivier Rozenberg, eds. Handbook of Parliamentary Studies: Interdisciplinary approaches to Legislatures.  Edited volume under review.

2014. “Mexico: The Partido Acción Nacional as a Right Party.” In Cristóbal Róvira Kaltwasser and Juan Pablo Luna, eds. The Resilience of the Latin American Right. Johns Hopkins University Press.

2013.  “Mexico: From Centralized Authoritarianism to Disarticulated Democracy.” The Routledge Handbook on Regionalism and Federalism, ed. John Loughlin, John Kincaid, and Wilfried Swenden. Routledge University Press.

2011.  “Holding Power: The PAN as Mexico’s Incumbent Party.” In Roderic Ai Camp, ed., Oxford University Handbook on Mexican Politics. New York: Oxford University Press.

2001. “Barbarians, Bureaucrats, and Bluebloods: Fractional Change in the National Action Party.” In Kevin J. Middlebrook, ed. Party Politics and the Struggle for Democracy in Mexico: National and State-level Analyses of the Partido Acción Nacional.  San Diego: Center for U.S Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego: 129-158.