This profile was current as of 2023, when she was part of the on-campus Kellogg community.

Kellogg Visiting Fellow Katherine Bersch is the Nancy Akers and J. Mason Wallace Assistant Professor of Political Science at Davidson College. She is also an investigator with The Governance Project at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Her research focuses on democratic quality in developing countries, with an emphasis on governance reform and state capacity in Latin America. 

Bersch is the author of When Democracies Deliver: Governance Reform in Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2019), which won the Van Cott Best Book Prize from the Latin American Studies Association, the Levine Memorial Book Prize from the International Political Science Association, and the American Society for Public Administration Prize for the Best Book Published in Public Administration. 

Her current research project “Who Governs” seeks to explain how relationships among state actors (politicians, bureaucrats, and judges) as well as legal factors shape public service delivery and human development. Her work sheds light on the determinants of good governance, relying on extensive qualitative field work in addition to administrative datasets, surveys, and experiments. 

Bersch holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and a BA from the University of Notre Dame. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law, and at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development.