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Elizabeth J. Zechmeister

Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science
Director, Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP)

Professor Zechmeister received her Ph.D. from Duke University in 2003. Her research focuses on comparative political behavior and public opinion, in particular in Latin America. Her work includes studies of voting, ideology, political parties, representation, charisma, and crisis. Zechmeister has received support from the National Science Foundation for investigations into the public opinion consequences of terrorist threat and natural disaster, respectively. She has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, and Political Behavior, among other outlets. She is co-author of Democracy at Risk: How Terrorist Threats Affect the Public (University of Chicago Press, 2009) and Latin American Party Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2010). She is co-editor of The Latin American Voter: Pursuing Representation and Accountability in Challenging Contexts (University of Michigan Press, 2015). In 2012, she was the recipient of the Vanderbilt A&S Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and in 2015 she received the Vanderbilt Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching. Her courses focus on Latin American politics, Mexican politics, research design, and comparative political behavior and public opinion.

Representative publications

  • Castorena, Oscar, and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. 2017. Representing the National Economic Agenda in Latin America: Variation by Fat and Lean Times and Party Brands. Electoral Studies 45: 208-218.
  • Holman, Mirya R., Jennifer L. Merolla, and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. 2016. Terrorist Threat, Male Stereotypes, and Candidate Evaluations. Political Research Quarterly 69(1): 134-147.
  • Carlin, Ryan E., Gregory J. Love, and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. 2014. Trust Shaken: Earthquake Damage, State Capacity, and Interpersonal Trust in Comparative Perspective. Comparative Politics 46(4): 419-437.
  • Zechmeister, Elizabeth J., and Daniel Zizumbo-Colunga. 2013. The Varying Political Toll of Concerns about Corruption in Good versus Bad Economic Times. Comparative Political Studies 46(10): 1190-1218.
  • Kam, Cindy D., and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. 2013. Name Recognition and Candidate Support. American Journal of Political Science 57(4): 971-986.
  • Merolla, Jennifer L., and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. 2013. Evaluating Political Leaders in Times of Terror and Economic Threat: The Conditioning Influence of Politician Partisanship. Journal of Politics 75(3): 599-612.
  • View Curriculum Vitae