Areas of Study
Email Address
Kirner-Johnson 118

Heather Sullivan's research explores the relationship between state capacity, protest and protest management using an original dataset on protest in contemporary Mexico. At Hamilton, she teaches courses on comparative politics, Latin American politics, Mexican politics and political protest. Sullivan received her bachelor's degree in international studies and Spanish from Elon University and her master's degree and doctorate in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Recent Courses Taught

Comparative Politics
Politics in Latin America
Violence, Justice and the State in Latin America
Social Movements and Political Protest
Senior Seminar: States and Citizens

Research Interests

My broad research agenda focuses on state capacity, protest, and political violence in Latin America. One strand of my research explores the ways that subnational variations in state capacity and democracy affect the management of protest in Mexico. In addition, I have begun a new project exploring the impact of non-state political intermediaries on formal state capacity.


  • Levitt Summer Research Grant awarded for research on Legitimacy, Domination, and State Violence, Hamilton College, 2015
  • Faculty Development Grant to organize a Government Department junior faculty research group, Hamilton College, 2014
  • Levitt Course Development Grant for development of courses on the theory and practice of social change, Hamilton College, 2014
  • Organization of American States Graduate Scholarship Award, Feb. 2008-May 2009
  • John Patrick Hagan Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2008
  • Tinker Foundation Pre-dissertation Travel Grant, Mexico, summer 2005

College Service

Latin American Studies Committee
Writing Advisory Committee

Professional Affiliations

American Political Science Association
Latin American Studies Association

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.A., Elon University

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