Matthew Lacombe

Matthew Lacombe

PhD Candidate in Political Science, Northwestern University
Chapter Member: Chicagoland SSN
Areas of Expertise:
  • Democracy & Governance
  • Public Health
  • Civic Engagement

About Matthew

Lacombe's research focuses on understanding and explaining political power in the United States. It engages with interest groups and political parties, social identity and political ideology, inequality and representation, and American political development. He uses the case of the National Rifle Association to identify and explain how interest groups can develop and use group-specific social identities and ideologies to advance their political agendas. He also studies the political preferences and behavior of U.S. billionaires, and the diverse ways they seek to influence politics. For the 2018-2019 academic year, Lacombe is a National Fellow at the University of Virginia's Jefferson Scholars Foundation (formerly the Miller Center National Fellowship Program). 

In the News

"Trump is at the NRA Today. It Didn’t Used to be a Republican Ally.," Matthew Lacombe, The Washington Post, April 26, 2019.


Billionaires and Stealth Politics (with Benjamin I. Page and Jason Seawright) (University of Chicago Press, 2018).

Identifies and describes nearly all public stances taken by the 100 wealthiest American billionaires on important economic and social issues over an approximately 10 year period. Argues that these billionaires engage in what can be described as "stealth politics": they are exceptionally politically active, but strategically hide their political activities when their views differ from those of average citizens. 

"The Political Weaponization of Gun Owners: The NRA's Cultivation, Dissemination, and Use of a Group Social Identity" Journal of Politics (forthcoming).

Documents the National Rifle Association's long-term cultivation and dissemination of a distinct, politicized gun owner social identity, which the National Rife Association uses to mobilize mass political action on its behalf.