Professor Tavits is a comparativist who studies party politics and political behavior.
Tavits specializes in comparative politics and her research interests are relatively broad: she has studied various issues related to political parties, political institutions, corruption, post-communist politics, and gender equality. While she continues to be interested in these topics, her ongoing research extends the list even further and considers the effects of wartime violence on post-war politics, inter-ethnic cooperation, and women's representation. Some of her most exciting new research ventures into an uncharted territory in political science is exploring how the language we speak affects how we think about politically relevant issues such as gender and LGBTQ+ equality, environmental policy, and ethnic divisions. Tavits served as department chair from July 2020 to June 2023.