Tommaso Pavone

Assistant Professor

Tommaso Pavone is an Assistant Professor of Law and Politics in the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona and Visiting Researcher at the ARENA Center for European Studies at the University of Oslo. He received his Ph.D. in 2019 from the Department of Politics at Princeton University, and from 2019 to 2021 he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the PluriCourts Centre at the University of Oslo in Norway.  

Dr. Pavone’s research and teaching interests span across comparative politics, law and society, and judicial politics. Much of his work focuses on the European Union (EU) and uses fieldwork, interview, archival, and geospatial methods to trace how lawyers and courts impact processes of political development and social change, as well as the politics of rule of law enforcement. His new book with Cambridge University Press – The Ghostwriters: Lawyers and the Politics Behind the Judicial Construction of Europe – reconstructs how entrepreneurial lawyers promoted European integration by encouraging deliberate law-breaking and mobilizing national courts against their own governments. The Ghostwriters has been praised as “the most important book on European legal integration in decades” and has won four major awards from the American Political Science Association (APSA), the Law and Society Association (LSA), and the European Union Studies Association (EUSA). Dr. Pavone’s research has also been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including The American Political Science ReviewLaw and Society ReviewWorld PoliticsJournal of European Public Policy, and the Journal of Law and Courts.  

Dr. Pavone is currently part of a large interdisciplinary research project - Enforcing the Rule of Law (ENROL): What can the European Union do to prevent rule of law deterioration from within? - that won NOK 25 million (approximately $3 million) in competitive funding from the Research Council of Norway (RCN). As part of this project, Dr. Pavone is drawing on comparative and EU theories of law enforcement and institutional change to understand the politics driving EU institutions’ responses to member states backsliding into competitive authoritarianism and undermining democracy and the rule of law. 

In addition to his Ph.D., Dr. Pavone holds an M.A. in Politics from Princeton University, an M.A. in social sciences from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in public policy from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Outside the academic life, Dr. Pavone is an amateur meteorologist, a halfway-decent cook, an opera lover, and a passionate leisure hiker. He was born in Rome and raised in Italy and Belgium before moving to the United States.