Kevin E Lucas

I am a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota's Department of Political Science. I defended my doctoral dissertation, titled "Programmatic Political Competition in Latin America: Recognizing the Role Played by Political Parties in Determining the Nature of Party-Voter Linkages," in October 2015. My research interests include a broad range of topics involving party system development, voting behavior, representation, democratization, and economic development, with a focus on Latin America. My dissertation examines variation in the extent to which programmatic party-voter linkages have developed in contemporary Latin America. I argue that elite political agency, rather than political and socioeconomic characteristics associated with the standard “sociological” model of party system development, best explains why programmatic party-voter linkages have developed in some Latin American democracies but not in others. More specifically, I contend that the presence of a unified Left that has achieved electoral success by actively promoting its ideological distinctiveness is the common link that explains the development of programmatic political competition in El Salvador, Chile, and Uruguay, the three Latin American democracies where strong programmatic party-voter linkages are observed. My experience teaching ESL classes in Ecuador and El Salvador, serving as an instructor for ESL pedagogy courses at El Salvador's Universidad Don Bosco, and leading various training workshops while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador ignited a passion for teaching. My subsequent experiences teaching Political Science and International Relations courses at the University of Minnesota and at SUNY Geneseo have led me to identify my role in the classroom as that of a facilitator. My primary goals are to provide students with the tools and motivation they require in order to further their academic and professional development, and to transmit a general passion for learning. More specifically, I aim to (1) increase students’ familiarity with the government institutions and social identities that shape political outcomes, (2) spark students’ interest in the central themes of the course, and (3) improve their abilities to synthesize arguments and information contained in written material, become critical consumers of such material, and be able to formulate and support their own arguments regarding political issues. I consider myself a very versatile teacher. I have already taught courses on "Third World" Politics, Democratization, Government and Politics of South America, Civil War and Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights in a Global Perspective. In 2016-17, I will add three more courses to this list: Comparative Politics and Geography, European Politics, and the Politics of Immigration.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • M.A.: International Studies, University of Denver, Graduate School of International Studies, Denver, CO.
  • Minnesota Studies in International Development Academic Year Program: International Development, Fundacion CIMAS del Ecuador, Quito.
  • B.A.: International Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
  • Ph.D.: Political Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2015.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Political Parties in Latin America
  • Voting Behavior in Latin America
  • Central American Politics
Courses Taught
  • Comparative Politics and Geography (PSCI 140), Fall 2016 (Lycoming College)
  • Politics of Developing Countries (PSCI 241), Fall 2016 (Lycoming College)
  • European Politics (PSCI 251), Fall 2016 (Lycoming College)
  • Civil War and Conflict Resolution (PLSC 227), Spring 2014 (SUNY Geneseo)
  • Third World Politics (PLSC 228), Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 (SUNY Geneseo)
  • Human Rights in a Global Perspective (PLSC 342), Spring 2014 (SUNY Geneseo)
  • Democratization (PLSC 221), Fall 2013 (SUNY Geneseo)
  • Government and Politics of South America (PLSC 326), Fall 2013 (SUNY Geneseo)
  • Political Development (POL 3477), Summer 2013 (University of Minnesota)
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Reviewer: Political Behavior; Latin American Politics and Society; Journal of Politics
  • Discussant: “Conflict and Conflict Resolution Track,” APSA Teaching and Learning Conference , February 2014
  • Discussant: “Comparative Political Behavior,” MPSA , April 2013
  • Chair and Discussant: "Neoliberal Policies and Economic Development," MPSA , April 2009
  • Honors Thesis Advisor, Edgar Fellows Program (SUNY Geneseo): “Organ Trafficking and Human Rights in the People’s Republic of China” , Spring 2014
  • Senior Thesis Advisor, Institute for Global Studies (University of Minnesota): “Agents of Inaction: Oil Production in a Warming World” , Summer 2013
  • Teaching Committee Co-chair, University of Minnesota Department of Political Science, Graduate Student Life Committee: Sept. 2010 - May 2011


  • Graduate Research Fellowship in Democratization, David and Janis Larson Foundation (approximately $55,800):
  • Summer Research Fellowships (2), University of Minnesota Department of Political Science ($9,600):
  • Graduate Research Partnership Program Fellowship (with David Samuels), University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts ($4,000):
  • Graduate Research Fellowship in Political Economy, David and Janis Larson Foundation ($21,000):
  • Coder: “Manifesto Research on Political Representation” Project, Social Science Research Center (WZB), Berlin


  • Municipal Development Volunteer, Peace Corps El Salvador: June 2001 - October 2004
  • Community Participation Consultant, Federación de Comunidades y Organizaciones Negras de Imbabura y Carchi (FECONIC) and the Consorcio Carchi (Ecuador): November 1998 - May 1999
  • English Instructor, "Teacher-to-Teacher Project," Universidad Don Bosco (Soyapango, El Salvador): 2003-2005, 2011
  • English Instructor, Instituto Nacional de La Laguna, El Salvador: September 2001 - October 2004
  • English Instructor, Escuela Hernando Táquez (Mascarilla, Ecuador): November 1998 - May 1999
  • Lucas, Kevin Edward. "An Examination of the Policies and Actors that Latin American Voters Associate with Ideological Labels." Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association (2014): Download
  • Lucas, Kevin Edward. "Programmatic Political Competition Where We Least Expect It: Party System Development in El Salvador." Annual Meeting of the Western Political Science Association (2013): Download
  • Lucas, Kevin Edward. "Mass Understandings of the Terms Left and Right in Contemporary Latin America." Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association (2012): Download
  • Lucas, Kevin and David Samuels. "A 'Coeríªncia' Ideológica do Sistema Partidário Brasileiro, 1990-2009." O Congresso por ele mesmo (2011): 61-103. Download
  • Lucas, Kevin and David Samuels. "The Ideological 'Coherence' of the Brazilian Party System, 1990-2009." Journal of Politics in Latin America 2(3) (2010): 39-69. LinkDownload
  • Lucas, Kevin Edward. "Examining the Distribution of the Costs and Benefits of Official Dollarization: Lessons from Ecuador and El Salvador." Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association (2009): LinkDownload
  • Lucas, Kevin Edward. "Educational Performance in Ecuador’s Chota Valley: The Specter of Institutional Racism." High Plains Applied Anthropologist 21(2) (2001): 136-146. LinkDownload
  • Graduate Student Travel Award, University of Minnesota Council of Graduate Students, Oct. 2011 - April 2012