Department of Political Science


Dr Thomas Gift

Thomas smiles into the camera
Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre on US Politics (CUSP)
Room: G.04, 31 Tavistock Square
Email: t.gift@ucl.ac.uk


I am Associate Professor of Political Science in the UCL School of Public Policy. As founding Director of the UCL Centre on US Politics (CUSP), I have led extensive scholarship and public engagement analyzing US politics and America’s role in the world. I have written widely on political behavior, public policy, and applications of survey and experimental methods.

My writings have appeared or are forthcoming in 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, Journal of Global Security Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis, World Affairs, Annual Review of Political Science, and elsewhere.

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

I frequently offer expert analysis on US politics and policy. I have made hundreds of television, radio, and news appearances and have written over one hundred articles for leading popular publications. My writing, commentary, and research have featured in outlets including Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, POLITICO, Newsweek, VoxThe National Interest, War on the Rocks, The Hill, Associated Press, CNN, BBCCNBC, NPR, Bloomberg, and Voice of America. I have also served as the main in-studio guest for ‘round-the-clock BBC World Service “America Decides” election-night coverage.

Previously, I was based at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where I won a prize for distinction in undergraduate teaching in the College. I have held fellowships or visiting appointments at Stanford’s Political Science Department, Yale’s Center for the Study of American Politics, Oxford’s Rothermere American Institute, and the London School of Economics US Centre.

Prior to academia, I worked at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, DC. I hold a PhD in political science from Duke University, where I was a National Science Foundation fellow.


My research specialises in comparative politics and political economy, with a focus on US politics, public policy, and applications of survey and experimental methods. My work spans topics such as democracy, polarisation, elections, public opinion, and American governance generally.

My expertise covers: American politics; elections; public opinion; democracy; US foreign policy; and economic policy.

Uncovering Politics logo showing people with raised banners and hands in silhouette

Podcast: UCL Uncovering Politics

Hear Dr Gift speak about his research on the following podcast episode:
S9 Ep10 | The State of US Politics


I teach modules on ‘American Government’ and ‘Public Policy Economics’. I also teach an annual summer course at Harvard on ‘The Political Economy of Globalization’.