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.


ISP Advisee
Noy Specht
Daniel Krill

Thematic Interests


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


Book Chapters

Working paper (non-Kellogg)


Other Accomplishments & Recognitions
  • Spring 2021 - Senior Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Vanderbilt University
  • 2016: Co-recipient of the Lijphart/Przeworski/Verba Dataset Award from the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association (for Varieties of Democracy)
  • Kellogg Institute's Undergraduate Mentoring Award  - 2009-10

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)