Clay R. Fuller is a Jeane Kirkpatrick fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on authoritarian survival, corruption, and the means through which dictators, terrorists, and criminals use free markets to restrict freedom, sow discord, and legitimize their actions. He also collects data on the use of special economic zones and sovereign wealth funds in nondemocratic countries.

Previously, Dr. Fuller taught international relations, American government, and modern dictatorships, among other courses, at the University of South Carolina, Western Carolina University, Midlands Technical College, and Texas State University.

Dr. Fuller has been published in peer-review journals. He is currently working on a book titled “The Economic Foundations of Authoritarian Rule.” His forthcoming studies include “The Who and the How of Authoritarian Rule” and “The Rise of Authoritarian Liberalism.”

Dr. Fuller has four degrees in political science: a Ph.D. and an M.A. from the University of South Carolina, another M.A. from Texas State University, and a B.A. from West Virginia State University.


  • Research Assistant, Program in Global Studies, Walker Institute, 2015–17; Instructor, Evening Program , 2015–17; Graduate Assistant, Department of Political Science, 2011–15; Learning Assistant, Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center, 2010–12, University of South Carolina
  • Online Instructor, Department of Political Science, Western Carolina University, 2013–17
  • Instructor, Department of Behavioral and Social Science, Midlands Technical College, 2012–15
  • Graduate Assistant, Department of Political Science, 2008–10, Texas State University


Ph.D., M.A., political science, University of South Carolina
M.A., political science, Texas State University
B.A., political science, West Virginia State University