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University of Pittsburgh


Scott joined the Political Science faculty of the University of Pittsburgh as an Associate Professor in 2005, and directed Pitt's Center for Latin American Studies 2014-2018.  Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, he taught at Duke, CIDE (Mexico) and  the University of Salamanca (Spain).  He earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego, in 1996, and his BA at Occidental College.  Prior to entering graduate school he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Samoa.  His research focuses on political parties, electoral systems, and legislatures, with a regional specialization in Latin America. Among his publications are Are Politics Local? The Two Dimensions of Party Nationalization around the World (2017 Cambridge University Press), Patterns of Legislative Politics: Roll Call Voting in the United States and Latin America's Southern Cone (Cambridge University Press, 2004), Legislative Politics in Latin America, (coeditor and contributor; Cambridge University Press, 2002), Pathways to Power (coeditor and contributor, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008), and Paths for Cuba (co-editor and contributor, University of Pittsburgh Press 2018). His articles have appeared in the Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies; Comparative Politics, Party Politics, Electoral Studies, Review of International Political Economy, Journal of Politics in Latin America , and other journals. He was also the primary investigator on a grant from the USAID to produce documents related to their political party development programs.  His current work focuses on a collaboration with the University of Salamanca and their survey of legislators (Parliamentary Elites of Latin America), including work on views in Latin America towards the United States and China.  He is also working on a book about US-Latin American relations. 

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Are Politics Local?
The Two Dimensions of Party Nationalization around the World

 (Cambridge University Press; forthcoming)

Chapter 1 Available Here: 

Data and appendices

Related Papers

Reforming Communism: Cuba in Comparative Perspective: (University of Pittsburgh Press) 

Introduction Available Here

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Articles and Chapters

“Legislators’ Religiosity and Same-Sex Marriage in Latin America” 2023. Latin American Research Review. With Valentina Gonzalez. 1-22. doi:10.1017/lar.2023.5.

Battling for the Hearts and Minds of Latin Americans: Covariance of Attitudes towards the United States and China.” 2021: Latin American Research Review. with Asbel Bohigues. 

“Revisiting Shugart and Carey's Relation of Executive Powers and Democratic Breakdown,” forthcoming. With Maxwell Peterson and Amaury Perez. Political Studies Review.  

“How party nationalization conditions economic voting” with Noah Smith and Alejandro Trelles.  2017. Electoral Studies. 47:136-45.

"Seven Imperatives for Improving the Measurement of Party Nationalization with Evidence from Chile," with John Polga Hecimovich and Peter Siavelis 33:186-199. 2014. Electoral Studies.

"Refining the Theory of Partisan Alignments: Evidence from Latin America" with Miguel Carreras and Yen-Pin Su. 2013. Party Politics. 21:5 671-85.

"Tall, Grande, or Venti: Presidential Powers in the United States and Latin America" with John Polga and Sarah Shair-Rosenfeld. 2013. Journal of Politics in Latin America, 5.2


"Ni Chicha ni Limoná: Party Nationalization in Pre- and Post-Authoritarian Chile." 2013. Party Politics. 20:5 751-65. With John Polga and Peter Siavelis

“Explaining Hydrocarbon Nationalization in Latin America: Economics and Political Ideology,” with Andrae Marak and Ruben Berrios. 2011.  Review of International Political Economy, Dec. 18:5 673-97.

“Party Nationalization and Institutions” with Stephen Swindle and Andrea Castagnola. Journal of Politics. 2009.

Reprinted as “Nacionalización De Partidos E Instituciones,” 2011 in Manuel Alcántara Mercedes García Montero (edit.): Algo más que presidentes. El papel del Poder Legislativo en América Latina. Zaragora: Fundación Manuel Giménez Abad de Estudios Parlamentarios y del Estado Autonómico.

 “Campaigning in an Electoral Authoritarian Regime: The Case of Mexico” with Joy Langston. 2009. Comparative Politics. 41:2 165-81.

Ideological Cohesion of Political Parties in Latin America”  with Kirk Hawkins in Latin American Party Systems, Cambridge University Press 2009

“Candidate Recruitment and Selection in Latin America: A Framework for Analysis” with Peter Siavelis. 2008. Latin American Politics and Society. Wint. 50, 4:27-58.

“Parliamentary Opposition in Non-Parliamentary Regimes: Latin America,” Journal of Legislative Studies. 2008, 14:1-2: 160-89. With Aníbal Pérez-Liñán and Juan Javier Negri.  

Reprinted as: “La oposición parlamentaria en regímenes presidenciales: El caso latinoamericano.” In ¿Qué pasa con la representación en América Latina?, ed. L. Béjar Algazi. Mexico: Congreso de México-UNAM-Porrúa, 13-50.

Electoral Laws, Parties, and Party Systems In Latin America,” 2007. Annual Review of Political Science. with Javier Vazquez D'Elia. 10:143-68.

“Scope and Trade Agreements”  2007. With Arturo Borja, Philippe Faucher, and  Daniel Nielson, Canadian Journal of Political Science.  40,1: 157-83.

“The PRI’s Choice: Balancing Democratic Reform and Its Own Salvation,” 2006. with Adam Brinegar and Daniel Nielson. Party Politics; 12: 77 - 97.

Limits on Exporting the U.S. Congress Model to Latin America” 2006. in Exporting Congress, eds. Timothy Power and Nicol Rae. University of Pittsburgh Press.

“Are Politics Local? An Analysis of Voting Patterns in 23 Democracies” 2005. with Stephen Swindle. Comparative Political Studies 38.2: 143-170.

“The Components of Elections: District Heterogeneity, District-Time Effects, and Volatility,” 2005. with Richard Potthoff.  Electoral Studies 24: 17-40.

Legislative Oversight: Interests and Institutions in the United States and Argentina,” with Luigi Manzetti, in Mainwaring and O’Donnell, Institutions, Accountability, and Democratic Governance in Latin America. 2003. Oxford University Press. 

“Latin America's Reactive Assemblies and Proactive Presidents,” 2001. with Gary Cox. Comparative Politics 33,2: 171-90.

*Runner-up for best paper in Comparative Politics, 2001/2 by the Comparative Politics Section of APSA

Reprinted as: "Legislaturas Reactivas y Presidentes Proactivos en America Latina" Desarrollo Económico: 41,163:373-394.  Oct-Dic, 2001.

“Better the Devil You Know than the Saint You Don't? Risk Propensity and Vote Choice in Mexico,” 2001. with Elizabeth Zechmeister, Journal of Politics 63,1:93-119.

“Organized Factions and Disorganized Parties: Electoral Incentives in Uruguay,” 2001. Party Politics, 7,2: 235-256.

Reprinted as “Grupos Organizados y Partidos Desorganizados: Incentivos Electorales en Uruguay” América Latina Hoy (2002).

"The Incumbency Advantage in Multimember Districts: Evidence from the U.S. States. 1995.   with Gary Cox, Legislative Studies Quarterly. 3:29-349.

"The Increasing Advantage of Incumbency in the U.S. States.” 1993. with Gary Cox,

     Legislative Studies Quarterly. 4:495-514.




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