Professor Gibson is Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Studies Program at University of California San Diego (UCSD). He studies the politics of development, democracy, and the environment. He has explored issues related to these topics in Africa, Central and South America, and the United States. His current research focuses on the accountability between governments and citizens in Africa, especially during the electoral process and in the provision of public services.

He is also a founder of the Center for the Study of African Political Economy (CSAPE), which consists of faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students affiliated with UCSD who explore questions about the politics of Africa. CSAPE members have a broad range of interests, including political accountability, the determinants of voting, and the provision of public services in Africa’s emerging democracies.