I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology and a PhD Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. My main research interests lie in the dynamic interactions between political parties, social movements, and civil society organizations seeking to generate both cultural and political change.
In my dissertation project, I aim to explain the main causes behind the transnational expansion and uneven success of free-market and libertarian think tanks in Latin America. To do so, I am conducting in-depth interviews with dozens of think tank leaders across the region, engaging in participant observation during transnational meetings and conferences, and analyzing archival sources related to the development of ties between US think tanks and their Latin American counterparts during the last forty years. The project aims to capture the multiple mechanisms by which these organizations promote their agendas for political change and the reasons why they have been able to thrive in some national contexts but not others.
My previous peer-reviewed work focused on explaining how right-wing parties are synchronizing repertoires of action and political strategies with independent cyber-activist groups to rally against leftist incumbents in Argentina and Brazil. I am continuing this line of work by studying other types of politically puzzling phenomena. In a co-authored project with Ann Mische, we provide a model for understanding how political parties leverage anti-partisan protest frames and mobilize them to reposition themselves within what we term “partisan strategic action fields.” In another project, co-authored with Benjamin Bradlow, we explain the rapid ascendance of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and use the insights from this case to propose a framework for understanding the rise of far-right populism in the Global South. Finally, in a third side project, I reconceptualize the sociological metaphor of ‘contentious repertoire’ by putting the work of Charles Tilly in conversation with pragmatist models of action and their approach to cultural performance.
My research has received financial support from the Fulbright Commission, Global Affairs Canada, the Argentine National Council of Scientific and Technical Research, and the Kellogg Institute, Nanovic Institute, and the Graduate School at the University of Notre Dame.
Democratization Theory Research Cluster Workshop
Gold Co-Authors Paper in Latin American Politics and Society
Aug 18, 2021
PhD Fellow Tomás Gold (sociology) is the co-author of a new article in Latin American Politics and Society. His paper is part of a special issue that was coordinated in part by former Visiting Fellow Amy Erica Smith.
Student-run Forum Helps Grad Students Prepare for Academic Careers
Oct 1, 2020
The student-run Comparative Politics Workshop started in 2010 and provides unique professionalization opportunities for graduate students. The initiative expanded its offerings this year to meet the unique needs of students during the coronavirus pandemic.