I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science and a PhD Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame, as well as the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship. After earning an MA in comparative politics at the University of Tübingen (Germany), I was a lecturer and researcher at Icesi University in Cali, Colombia, where I also served as director of undergraduate studies for the political science program.

My dissertation, “Criminalized electoral politics: The socio-political foundations of electoral coercion in Brazil” (tentative title), studies the conditions that enable criminal and political actors to use criminal violence to influence electoral outcomes in urban peripheries. With the support of a fellowship of the Inter-American Foundation, as well as a Graduate Student Research Grant from the Kellogg Institute and a Graduate Student Research Award from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts of the University of Notre Dame, I am conducting extensive fieldwork in the urban peripheries of Brazil.

My broad research interests include political and criminal violence, political order and citizenship, and transitional justice, as well as political parties and electoral competition. I have published on Brazilian political parties, Brazilian foreign policy, and Latin American regional integration. Current working papers and forthcoming publications analyze the logic of criminalized electoral politics, party system deinstitutionalization in Colombia (co-authored with Laura Gamboa and Scott Mainwaring), electoral and partisan subnational competition in Colombia (co-authored with Juan Pablo Milanese), as well as the impact of transitional justice mechanisms on the levels of criminal violence in new democracies (co-authored with Guillermo Trejo and Lucia Tiscornia).  

Thematic Interests

Comparative Politics; political violence and conflict, political order and citizenship in brown areas/areas of limited statehood, as well as political parties and electoral competition in Colombia


Upcoming Events


February 20
Pope Francis’s Vision of International Politics and Diplomacy
Jodok Troy
February 20
Reading Group on Lying and Truthfulness - Feb 20 Meeting
Working Groups, Reading Group on Lying and Truthfulness


February 21
Lynching and the Politics of State Formation in POst-Revolutionary Puebla (1930-1950)
Working Groups, Peace, Conflict, Crime & Violence Workshop
Gema Santamaría


February 22
The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed Bishop Gerardi?
Francisco Goldman


February 23 to February 24
2018 Human Development Conference
Conferences/Workshops, Undergraduate Programs
Abigail Midlige, Tommy Emmet