McCoy specializes in democratic transitions and backsliding, crisis prevention and conflict resolution, and electoral processes, including electronic voting and international election monitoring. Her current research is on polarized polities around the world and on the politics of transitional justice in the Colombian peace talks. She has done extensive election monitoring in Latin America and the United States, mediation in political conflicts in Latin America, and also organized grassroots political involvement and citizen advocacy in Georgia and U.S. politics. McCoy served as founding director of the Global Studies Institute at GSU (2015-16) and director of the Americas Program at The Carter Center for 1998-2015. She has provided expert testimony to U.S. Congress and consulted with government and international organizations on U.S. policy toward Latin America.