Michael Coppedge is professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, where he is a faculty fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. His research interests include democratization and the quality of democracy; Latin American parties and party systems; Venezuelan politics; and comparative politics methodology.

Coppedge is one of the principal investigators for the Varieties of Democracy project (V-Dem), which has measured hundreds of attributes of democracy and governance for most countries since 1900 and won the APSA Comparative Politics Section's 2016 “Best Dataset” prize. He argues for the complementarity of large- and small-sample research and qualitative and quantitative methods and is now using V-Dem data to analyze dimensions of democracy and the diffusion of democracy.

The author of Democratization and Research Methods (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Strong Parties and Lame Ducks: Presidential Partyarchy and Factionalism in Venezuela (Stanford, 1994), he has published numerous articles in journals such as the Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Party Politics, and in various books.

Coppedge, who holds a PhD from Yale University, taught at Johns Hopkins-SAIS, Princeton University, and Yale before coming to Notre Dame.

Thematic Interests

Democratization, quality of democracy; Latin American parties and party systems; Venezuelan politics; Methodology of comparative politics

Current Research

Varieties of Democracy; the conditions that promote stable democracy, especially in Latin America; and the factors that have shaped party systems in eleven Latin American countries, employing both case studies and quantitative analysis.



Journal Articles

“Continuity and Change in Latin American Party Systems,” Taiwan Journal of Democracy 3:2 (December 2007)
“The Dynamic Diversity of Latin American Party Systems,” Party Politics (October 1998)

Book Chapters

“Theory Building and Hypothesis Testing: Large- vs. Small-N Research on Democratization,” in Gerardo Munck, ed., Regimes and Democracy in Latin America, Vol. I: Theories and Findings (2007)
“Soberanía popular versus democracia liberal en Venezuela,” in Jorge I. Domínguez and Michael Shifter, eds., Construyendo gobernabilidad democrática (2005)

Working paper (non-Kellogg)s

Coppedge, Michael, John Gerring, et al. “V-Dem Comparisons and Contrasts with Other Measurement Projects,” University of Gothenburg, Varieties of Democracy Institute Working Paper No. 45 (April 2017)


Policy & Public Experience
  • “Training and Regional Exchange” workshop drawing on V-Dem data (with PhD Fellow Lucía Tiscornia). Two-day training for new Academic Research Network of the Regional Project on Human Rights and Democracy, San Salvador, El Salvador; funded by USAID and the Pan American Development Foundation through Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (June 15–16, 2017)

Upcoming Events


February 19
Kellogg International Scholars Program Meeting
Undergraduate Programs


February 20
Pope Francis’s Vision of International Politics and Diplomacy
Jodok Troy


February 22
The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed Bishop Gerardi?
Francisco Goldman


February 23 to February 24
2018 Human Development Conference
Conferences/Workshops, Undergraduate Programs
Abigail Midlige, Tommy Emmet