I am a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, a PhD Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and Graduate Associate in Learning Research at the Kaneb Center for Teaching Excellence. I am also honored to be the recipient of a Notre Dame Presidential Fellowship.
My research agenda focuses on regime change, populism, judicial politics, Latin American politics, and qualitative methods. More specifically, I am interested in (1) conceptualizing contemporary processes of democratic erosion, (2) explaining the strategies populist leaders use to dismantle democracy, (3) showing what strategies political parties, civil society actors, and judges can implement to stop executive encroachment, and (4) case study methodology and qualitative data-gathering techniques. My dissertation investigates how the sequence and timing of populists’ attacks against democratic institutions contribute to explaining the extent of democratic erosion. By comparing Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, and Argentina and using multiple primary and secondary sources, I show that populist leaders in control of the executive can erode liberal democracy’s components when they begin to either co-opt or neutralize apex-courts early on.
I hold a BA in Political Science (Universidad de San Andrés) and an MA in Political Science (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella). Before coming to Notre Dame, I taught at several universities in Buenos Aires (2011-2017), and I gained research experience as well as financial support from Argentina’s Ministry of Science and Technology (2012-2017).
Garcia Holgado Receives Outstanding Doctoral Student Contributions Award
May 4, 2023
Kellogg Institute PhD Fellow Benjamin Garcia Holgado was honored with the 2023 Kellogg Institute Award for Outstanding Doctoral Student Contributions May 3 at the Institute’s year-end celebration.
Kellogg Institute Announces New Podcast Series
Feb 21, 2023
As it celebrates its 40th anniversary, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies has found another new way to disseminate information on the research of its scholars: podcasting.
Democratic Development and Decline with Political Scientist Michael Coppedge
Feb 21, 2023
Interviewed by doctoral students Benjamín García and Isabel Güiza-Gómez, political scientist and Kellogg Faculty Fellow Michael Coppedge discusses the foundational question of why some countries escape autocratic rule and strengthen democracy while others remain trapped.