Alfred C. Stepan is Wallace Sayre Professor of Government and was Dean of SIPA (1983–91).

Stepan's teaching and research interests include comparative politics, theories of democratic transitions, federalism, and the world's religious systems, and democracy. He has published Arguing Comparative Politics (Oxford 2001); Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, with J. J. Linz (Johns Hopkins 1996); Politics, Society, and Democracy: Comparative Studies, which he edited with H. E. Chebabi and J. J. Linz (Westview Press 1995); Rethinking Military Politics: Brazil and the Southern Cone (Princeton 1988); The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes: Chile, which he edited with J. J. Linz (Johns Hopkins 1978); The State and Society: Peru in Comparative Perspective (Princeton 1978); and The Military in Politics: Changing Patterns in Brazil (Princeton 1974).

Professor Stepan earned his BA from University of Notre Dame in 1958. He received a BA and an MA from Balliol College, Oxford University in 1963 and a PhD from Columbia University in 1969. Stepan was a professor of political science at Yale University (1976–82), Burgess Professor of Political Science at Columbia (1987–93), served as first rector and president at Central European University (Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw) (1993–96), and was Gladstone Professor of Government and fellow at All Souls College, Oxford University (1996–99). Stepan is also a fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1991–present) and a member of the British Academy (1997–present).