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Kevin Lucas

Associate Professor


  • Political Science

Contact Information


As a young boy growing up in rural southeastern Wisconsin, Dr. Lucas was always fascinated by foreign languages and cultures. This fascination led him to pursue degrees in International Studies from Emory University and the University of Denver, to complete a 9-month work/study-abroad program in Ecuador, and to serve for 3+ years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador before he began his doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Lucas's teaching and research interests include party politics, public opinion, and economic and political development, with a focus on contemporary Latin America. He has published and/or presented research on Ecuador's education system, party system dynamics in Brazil and El Salvador, the impact of dollarization in Ecuador and El Salvador, and the relationship between ideological labels and voting behavior across Latin America. Along the way, he has conducted research in Ecuador, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.

Before arriving at Capital University in 2017, Dr. Lucas taught at the University of Minnesota, the State University of New York at Geneseo, and Lycoming College (PA).

When not working, Dr. Lucas enjoys spending time with his wife, María Luisa, cheering for the Chicago Cubs, traveling, and watching fútbol (especially FC Barcelona).

Degrees Earned
Ph.D. Political Science, University of Minnesota
M.A. International Studies, University of Denver
B.A. International Studies, Emory University
American Government and Politics (POLS 105)
Comparative Politics (POLS 230)
Human Rights in a Global Perspective (POLS 313)
Political Development (POLS 331)
Democracy and Democratization (POLS 334)
Latin American Politics and History (POLS 340)
Political Science Internship (POLS 495)
International Studies Internship (IS 497)
Political Science Senior Thesis (POLS 498)
International Studies Capstone (IS 425)
Cultural Pluralism in American Society (UC 270)

“A ‘Coerência’ Ideológica do Sistema Partidário Brasileiro, 1990-2009.” In Timothy J. Power and Cesar Zucco, Jr., eds. 2011. O Congresso por ele mesmo: autopercepções da classe política brasileira. Belo Horizonte: Editora UFMG: 61-103. (with David Samuels)
“The Ideological ‘Coherence’ of the Brazilian Party System, 1990-2009.” Journal of Politics in Latin America, 2(3): 39-69. (with David Samuels)
“Educational Performance in Ecuador’s Chota Valley: The Specter of Institutional Racism.” High Plains Applied Anthropologist, 21(2): 136-46.
Conference Presentations

“The Coattial Effect in Salvadoran Elections: Are All Politics Local?" OLAC 2020. (with Megan Douglas)
“Internships for Credit: Linking Work Experience to Political Science Learning Objectives." APSA-TLC 2020.
“Are All Politics Local? The Relative Strength of Presidential and Mayoral Coattails in El Salvador.” MPSA 2019. (with Megan Douglas)
“The Unexpected Development and Precipitous Decline of Programmatic Party-Voter Linkages in El Salvador.” WPSA 2019.
“An Examination of the Policies and Actors that Latin American Voters Associate with Ideological Labels.” MPSA 2014.
“Parties’ Role in Generating Programmatic Political Competition: The Case of El Salvador.” MPSA 2013.
"Programmatic Political Competition Where We Least Expect It: Party System Development in El Salvador." WPSA 2013.
“Mass Understandings of the Terms Left and Right in Contemporary Latin America.” MPSA 2012.
“The Ideological ‘Coherence’ of the Brazilian Party System, 1990-2009.” Oxford University 2009. (with David Samuels)
“Examining the Distribution of the Costs and Benefits of Official Dollarization: Lessons from Ecuador and El Salvador.” MPSA 2009.