Isabel Güiza-Gómez is a PhD Candidate in Political Science and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research examines the conditions under which marginalized actors can forge development and democracy in unequal, violent contexts, with a focus on Latin America. In her dissertation project, Isabel delves into the strategies employed by diverse collective actors, including Indigenous, Afro-descendant, peasant, women, and victim activists, as well as former insurgent groups committed to peace, in driving land redistribution during civil war peace processes. Focusing on the Colombian case, she demonstrates why and how strong Indigenous and Afro-descendant movements achieved collective land titling in the face of weak class-based mobilization by insurgents and peasants after peace bargaining and constitution-making in the early 1990s, while strong insurgents and peasant mobilization forced elites to compromise on individual land titling yet ultimately have fallen short in triggering allocation after 2012-2016 peace negotiation. Her research has been funded by the Graduate Women in Science National Fellowship, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and the Notre Dame Graduate School. 

In collaborative projects, Isabel investigates how grassroots actors can become influential brokers for leftist politicians when new institutions propel collective action from local to national politics, as well as why citizens show violence justification attitudes toward lethal violence against grassroots activists advocating for redistribution after the Colombian peace agreement. Her collaborative research also examines policy conflict between reparation programs and developmental projects in transitioning context, and the future-oriented trajectories of collective action after social mobilization splits occur.
Isabel has over a decade experience of working on peacebuilding, transitional justice, and land policies in Colombia. She is the co-author of The Constitution of the Peasantry. Struggles for Recognition and Redistribution in the Legal Field, originally written in Spanish and awarded the Alejandro Angel Escobar Prize. She is a researcher of the Kellogg Institute's Notre Dame Violence and Transitional Justice Lab (V-TJLab), a researcher and project coordinator of the institute's Eliminating Violence Against Women Lab (E-VAW), and an associate researcher at Dejusticia.