Area of Study
Email Address
Kirner-Johnson 107

Andrea Peña-Vasquez received her Ph.D. in political science with a concentration in comparative politics from the University of Notre Dame, and her B.A. in political science and sociology from the University of Florida. Her research focuses broadly on topics of migration and citizenship in both Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Europe, and she is especially interested in the intersection between race, legal status, and governance. She is currently working on a project that explores how municipal policymaking affects the access to residence permits among African immigrants in Spain. Her work has been supported by the J. William Fulbright Foundation and has been featured in The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage and Politics, Groups, and Identities.

Recent Courses Taught

The Politics of Asylum

Research Interests

Migration, Citizenship, Race & Ethnic Politics (REP), Institutions, Black European Studies, Iberia, Sub-Saharan Africa & the African Diaspora


Fulbright Research Award
University of Notre Dame Presidential Fellowship
APSA Minority Fellowship Program
Marguerite Ross Barnett Fund Award
McNair Scholars Program

Select Publications

  • Pinderhughes, Dianne M., and Andrea Peña-Vasquez, “Research in a Racially Structured State: The Role of the U.S. National Science Foundation,” in Political Science in the Shadow of the State, pp. 95-118. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2021.
  • Peña-Vasquez, Andrea C. and Maryann H. Kwakwa. “Barack Obama and Kamala Harris both identify as Black. The news media doesn't describe both that way.” The Washington Post — Monkey Cage. September 16, 2020
  • Kwakwa, Maryann H. and Andrea C. Peña-Vasquez. “Does Diversity Make Us Unhappy?” Psychology Today — The Economy of Happiness. March 27, 2019
  • Kwakwa, Maryann H. and Andrea C. Peña-Vasquez. 2019. “A Neighbor Like Me: The Effect of Fractionalization on Subjective Well-Being.” Politics, Groups, and Identities. 1-19 https://doi.org/10.1080/21565503.2018.1564054.
  • Wald, Kenneth D. and Andrea C. Peña-Vasquez. 2018. “Cultural Foundations of Right-Wing Politics in the United States: The Case of the Tea Party Movement.” Surveyjournalen 3(2): 2-19 https://doi.org/10.15626/sj.2016201.

Professional Affiliations

American Political Science Association
Council for European Studies
International Political Science Association

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
M.A., University of Notre Dame
B.A., University of Florida

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