Ilja A. Luciak


Ilja A. Luciak



521 Major Williams Hall
220 Stanger Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061




Department Membership

Political Science


He teaches in the areas of Latin American politics, development theory and revolutionary change.

Professional Activities

For the past thirty years Dr. Luciak has conducted field research in Mexico, Central America, Cuba and Colombia focusing on gender equality and democratization. He has been a visiting professor/fellow at the Universidad Centroamericana in Nicaragua, Stockholm University, Sweden, Universität Innsbruck, Austria, and at The Society for the Humanities, Cornell University. 

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    He has received teaching awards from the Department of Political Science, the Political Science Honors Society and the College of Arts and Sciences.

    Selected Publications

    Professor Luciak has written for Swedish, Austrian, British, Mexican, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran and North American publications. He has worked as a consultant for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Women’s Fund (UNIFEM), the Office of the Special Advisor to the Secretary General on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women (OSAGI) and the Swedish International Development Authority (Sida). He has given numerous invited lectures and organized several international conferences on Central America. He has served as an invited election observer in El Salvador and Nicaragua and has been an official delegate and invited expert to several United Nations conferences. 

    Recent publications include a multi-year study on "Gender Equality and Democratization in Central America and Cuba" for the European Commission. Based on this study he published After the Revolution: Gender and Democracy in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), which uses a gender lens to examine the transformation of the revolutionary Left from armed guerrilla movements into political parties. The second part of this research project was published by the University Press of Florida (2007, Paperback 2009) and is entitled Gender and Democracy in Cuba. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled The Electrolux King: Reality and Myth in the Life of Axel Wenner-Gren. The book examines the political and social legacy of the founder of the Electrolux Company who was also a major philanthropist. As part of the Wenner-Gren project Professor Luciak organized an international symposium held in Stockholm, Sweden in May 2012. The conference proceedings have been published in Reality and Myth: A Symposium on Axel Wenner-Gren, co-edited with Bertil Daneholt (Stockholm: The Wenner-Gren Foundations,  2012).