Thomas Mustillo

Thomas Mustillo

Associate Professor

Fields of Study: Comparative Politics

Research and Teaching Interests: Democracy and democratic development; political parties and representation; social policy; Latin America; quantitative research methods

3137 Jenkins Nanovic Halls


Thomas Mustillo is a comparative political scientist who earned a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BA in government and economics from the University of Notre Dame. In addition to his role in the Keough School, he is the program coordinator of the university-wide data science minor. He is an editor of the European Journal of Political Research’s Political Data Yearbook, and sits on the scientific advisory board of the Constituency-Level Elections Archive at the University of Michigan.

Mustillo’s current research examines political representation, parties and party systems, and democracy. He is particularly interested in understanding highly unstable electoral contexts. He has employed diverse research methods in his work, including agent-based models for the study of party competition, longitudinal models of electoral instability, elite interviews of party founders to understand the conditions that lead to the launch of new parties, and archival research in Ecuador to secure vulnerable records about party competition in the late 20th century. He has traveled extensively in Ecuador, Venezuela, Haiti, and Costa Rica. His work has been published in the Journal of Politics, Political Analysis, Comparative Political Studies, Democratization, Electoral Studies, and other outlets across several fields.

Mustillo’s teaching spans substantive topics related to democracy, party politics, and Latin American politics, as well as courses on quantitative research methods, research design, complexity science, and data science. Before coming to Notre Dame in 2018, he was an associate professor of political science at Purdue University.

Recent Work

Mustillo, Thomas. 2018. “Floating Voters and the Rise of New Left Parties: Electoral Volatility During Party System Transformation.” Latin American Politics and Society, 1-26.

Mustillo, Thomas. 2017. “Party Nationalization Following Democratization: Modeling Change in Turbulent Times.” Democratization. 24 (6): 929-950.
*Winner of the Frank Cass Award for Best Article published in Democratization in 2017.