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Related Centers and Events in Comparative Politics

Through participation in active research programs and colloquia, comparative politics students at Vanderbilt receive unique opportunities to practice and hone their research skills.

Research Centers

Vanderbilt is host to the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), a research institute that welcomes the involvement of our comparative (and some non-comparative) faculty and graduate students. Dr. Mitch Seligson is founder and Co-Director of LAPOP, Dr. Liz Zechmeister is Co-Director, and LAPOP faculty associates and fellows include Dr. Jon Hiskey, Dr. Zeynep Somer-Topcu, Dr. Cecilia Mo, Dr. Kristin Michelitch, Dr. Efrén Pérez, Dr. Mariano Sana (Sociology), and others. Every two years, LAPOP implements the AmericasBarometer, a survey of the Northern, Central, Southern, and Caribbean regions of the Americas. Through regular meetings of the faculty and graduate student members of LAPOP, students receive hands-on instruction and opportunities in survey research design, implementation, and analysis. In both 2010 and 2012, the AmericasBarometer included national surveys in 26 countries. LAPOP publishes a bi-weekly report, the Insights Series, which cultivates and showcases independent work by our graduate students; these publications are distributed world-wide to over 1,000 scholars and policy makers.

The Political Science Department at Vanderbilt houses the Research on Individuals, Politics & Society (RIPS) Lab. The RIPS lab is a state-of-the art mobile computer lab designed for experimental methods. The lab serves as a site of instruction and, as well, an opportunity for students to pilot projects and collect their own data within the brick-and-mortar of the campus setting or in any other location by using the lab's portable features.

Additional centers at Vanderbilt that offer valuable resources to our graduate students include the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI), the Asia Studies Program, the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies, and the Center for Latin American Studies.


The Comparative Politics subfield hosts a bi-weekly colloquium series at which our graduate students and faculty present research in progress. In the AY13-14, this series is organized and directed by Dr. Cecilia Mo and Dr. Zeynep Somer-Topcu. Our department and university calendar features an active schedule of speakers, both internal and external to the department. Lecture series sponsored by the department include, for example, the CSDI Speaker Series and the Political Science Graduate Student Colloquium Series. In addition, our graduate students often take active roles in conferences and workshops hosted by the department.