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Michelle Hale Williams

  • Position: Professor and UWF Vice Provost
  • Department: Government
  • Office Location: Building 10, Room 210
  • Campus: 850.474.2035


Dr. Michelle Hale Williams, professor of political science and interim provost, teaches and does research on world elections, political parties, European politics, democracy and democratization, radicalism and extremism in politics, race and ethnicity, immigration and multicultural societies, international relations, and social science research methods. 

Williams credits an undergraduate study abroad experience in Vienna, Austria, with providing the spark that turned her focus toward geopolitical fault lines in Europe. During this time abroad, she witnessed the emergence of small political parties – environmental Greens and the Freedom Party – taking center stage in Austria’s national elections in 1991, as well as in other countries in Europe. This experience provided the framework for her continued research on far-right parties, European politics, and nationalism and ethnic politics.

In her book, “The Multicultural Dilemma: Migration, Ethnic Politics, and State Intermediation,” Williams and other experts explore the contemporary challenge of government in multicultural societies, and examine how ethnic difference could be better understood and mediated by modern nation states. She also wrote, “The Impact of Radical Right-wing Parties in West European Democracies,” a book that assesses the influence far-right parties have in setting the tone of political debates, shaping the political party system and structuring government policy.

Williams, who is an editorial review board member for the German publication series, Explorations of the Far Right, has published numerous scholarly articles in Party Politics, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Análise Social, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, German Politics, PS: Political Science and Politics, and the Journal of Political Science Education. In addition to her academic work, she is frequently invited to present at national and international conferences for the American Political Science Association, Council for European Studies and the International Studies Association.

In 2001, she was named a TIRES fellow for the University of Viadrina in Frankfurt-Oder, Germany, near Berlin, on a competitive fellowship that provided a year-long research appointment at the university. While there she worked with internationally renowned scholars of political extremism and right-wing radicalism. 

Degrees & Institutions:

Williams received bachelor’s degrees in political science and English from Wake Forest University, a master’s degree in political science from Villanova University, and a doctorate degree in political science from the University of Colorado.

Keywords: radicalism and extremism, political parties, small or third parties, social movements, immigration, multiculturalism, nationalism, ethnic politics, European politics, democracy, democratization