Department of Political Science


Dr Thomas Gift

Thomas Gift
Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre on US Politics

Room: G.04, 31 Tavistock Sq.
Email: t.gift@ucl.ac.uk
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Thomas Gift is Associate Professor of Political Science in the School of Public Policy. As founding Director of the UCL Centre on US Politics (CUSP), he has written for leading scholarly outlets and is a frequently cited expert on American politics, government, and policy. 

Gift’s writings have appeared or are forthcoming at journals including Political Behavior, Political Science Research and Methods, Electoral Studies, Journal of Experimental Political Science, Public Opinion Quarterly, American Politics Research, Governance, Research & Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Foreign Policy Analysis, World Affairs, Annual Review of Political Science, and elsewhere. 

His work has been supported by funding bodies such as the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of State, the British Academy, and the British Association for American Studies.

Gift has made hundreds of media appearances and penned scores of articles for popular publications. His writing, commentary, and research have featured in outlets including Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, BBC World News, Associated Press, CNN, CNBC, NPR, Bloomberg, and Voice of America. 

Previously, Gift was based at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he won a prize for distinction in undergraduate teaching in the College. He has held fellowships or visiting appointments at Stanford, Oxford, and the London School of Economics.  

Gift holds a Ph.D. in political science from Duke. 


Gift’s research specializes in comparative politics and political economy, with a focus on U.S. politics, public policy, and applications of survey and experimental methods. His work spans topics such as democracy, polarization, elections, public opinion, and American governance generally.


  • American politics
  • Elections
  • Public opinion
  • Democracy
  • US foreign policy
  • Economic policy

At UCL, Gift teaches modules on “American Government” and “Public Policy Economics.”  He also teaches an annual summer course at Harvard on “The Political Economy of Globalization.”