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Peter Mair (b. March 3, 1951 in Sligo, Ireland) is an Irish political scientist. He is currently professor of Comparative Politics at the European University Institute in Florence.


He studied history and politics at the University College Dublin. He continued to work as assistant professor at the University of Limerick, Strathclyde, Manchester and the European University Institute of Florence during the 1980s. In 1987 he became PhD on basis of "The changing Irish party system" a standard work on the Irish party system at Leiden University. In 1990 he co-authored the book Identity, Competition and Electoral Availability with Stefano Bartolini, it was awarded with the ISSC/Unesco Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research‎. He continued to work at Leiden University becoming professor of comparative politics in 1994 when he held an oration called "Party democracies and their difficulties". In 2001 he became co-editor of the journal West European Politics. In 2005 he returned to the European University Institute to invest time in his research into democracy, indifference and populist parties.

He has specialized in comparative politics and specifically in the study of parties and party systems.


  • (2005) Gallagher M., Laver M., and Mair P., Representative Government in Modern Europe: Institutions, Parties, and Governments, McGraw-Hill, New York, 4th edition.
  • (2004) Mair P., Political Parties and Electoral Change: Party Responses to Electoral Markets, Müller WC, Plasser F (eds.), Sage, London.
  • (2002) Mair P. and Zielonka J (eds.). The Enlarged European Union: Diversity and Adaptation, Frank Cass, London.
  • (1997) Mair P., Party System Change: approaches and interpretations, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • (1990) Bartolini S., and Mair P., Identity, Competition, and Electoral Availability: the stabilisation of European electorates 1885-1985, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge


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