Dan Slater is the James Orin Murfin Professor of Political Science and the director for the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED) at the University of Michigan. He specializes in the politics and history of dictatorship and democracy, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia.

His book examining how divergent historical patterns of contentious politics have shaped variation in state power and authoritarian durability in seven Southeast Asian countries, entitled Ordering Power: Contentious Politics and Authoritarian Leviathans in Southeast Asia, was published in the Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics series in 2010. His latest book is entitled From Development to Democracy: The Transformations of Modern Asia (Princeton University Press, 2022), which explores why rapid economic development has led to democratization in some Asian countries but not others.

Slater's published articles can be found in disciplinary journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, American Journal of Sociology, Annual Review of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, and more, as well as Asia-oriented journals such as Critical Asian Studies, Indonesia, Journal of East Asian Studies, and South East Asia Research, among others.

He has done international consulting work in Southeast Asia and on challenges related to democratization and demilitarization in cases such as Ethiopia, Fiji, and Pakistan. Slater also recently worked as a consultant and nonresident fellow with international policy organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Freedom House, OECD, and World Bank.

He holds a PhD from Emory University.