Paul Lewis joined The Open University in 1972 following graduate work in Poland and the Centre for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Birmingham, where he also gained his first degree. His PhD was awarded in 1974.
Prof Lewis has conducted research in numerous areas of comparative politics and published widely on the politics of communist and post-communist Eastern Europe, most recently on changes in party politics in the context of EU membership. A joint publication (with Zdenka Mansfeldova): The European Union and Party Politics in Central and Eastern Europe, Palgrave Macmillan (2006), was the first book in this field. He is joint editor of the widely used Palgrave series Developments in Central and East European Politics, which has been in print since 1993 and whose fourth edition was published (2007).
Prof Lewis's recent work has been concentrated in a multi-national British Academy-funded Research Network on The Impact of EU Enlargement on Central European Party Systems and Electoral Alignments, which he initiated and has been directing since 2004. Its work continued until the end of 2008 and produced a number of further publications, including a book on Emerging Party Systems and the European Context, concerned with processes of party system institutionalisation in East Central Europe and an article on 'Party systems in post-communist central Europe: patterns of stability and consolidation' (Democratization, vol. 13, 2006). Prof Lewis has participated in many sessions and directed workshops of the European Consortium of Political Research, and is also co-convenor of its Standing Group on Central and Eastern Europe. He is a visiting Research Fellow at the European Institute of the University of Sussex.
A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.
Last updated: 19 November 2010
Prof Lewis has worked on a wide range of OU courses in a broadly conceived politics area. They included various aspects of comparative politics, Soviet politics, political sociology, international and global politics, and European studies. He chaired a number of these courses at various stages of their production and presentation, and he was working on the production of a short level 2 course on Politics, Media and War: 9/11 and its Impacts.