comparative politics

Peru’s Congress

My research centers on the comparative politics of political culture and political institutions in Latin America and other “new” democracies.  My first book, Power in the Balance: Presidents, Parties, and Legislatures in Peru and Beyond (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012), offers fresh answers to a persistent question: under what conditions do formal “rules of the game” like electoral laws and constitutions constrain the behavior of political elites?  I have also published articles on political culture, political institutions, and democracy in journals such as Latin American Politics and Society, Latin American Research ReviewNationalism and Ethnic Politics, and Politics & Policy, for which I co-edited a 2014 symposium on personalist parties and leaders.

One strand of my current research shifts focus to assess the causes and consequences of citizens’ trust—and distrust—in institutions in Latin America.  I am working on a book tentatively titled “Confianza: Political Institutions and Trust in Latin America.” Two articles showcase the kind of questions I tackle in this project: one published in Journal in Politics of Latin America on institutional trust and the separation of powers, and another in Politics, Groups and Identities on the impact of ethnic and racial discrimination on political trust in Latin America. A second strand of current research focuses on disaster politics and policy, particularly the causes and consequences of public support for disaster risk reduction measures.

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