Thomas Mustillo

Associate Professor of Global Affairs; Director, Governance and Policy Concentration, Master of Global Affairs

Thomas  Mustillo

3137 Jenkins Nanovic Halls
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

(574) 631-9837

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Thomas Mustillo

Associate Professor of Global Affairs; Director, Governance and Policy Concentration, Master of Global Affairs


Democracy and democratic development; political parties and representation; social policy; Latin America; quantitative research methods

At the Keough School

Thomas Mustillo is associate professor of global affairs and director of the governance and policy concentration for the Master of Global Affairs program. He is a faculty fellow of the Keough School’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies.



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 Notre Dame. In addition to his roles in the Keough School, Mustillo is the program coordinator for the university-wide data science minor and a concurrent faculty member in the Department of Political Science. He was awarded the 2024 Charles and Kathleen Manatt Fellowship by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and the Electoral Integrity Project to research connections between obstacles to voting and political party polarization in Latin America. Mustillo also is an associate editor of Democratization, an editor of the European Journal of Political Research’s Political Data Yearbook, and a member of the scientific advisory board of the Constituency-Level Elections Archive at the University of Michigan.

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.

Research and Publications

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.

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.