Laura Gamboa Gutierrez

Former Phd Fellow and Dissertation Year Fellow Laura Gamboa (Phd '16) has published a new book with Cambridge University Press titled Resisting Backsliding: Opposition Strategies against the Erosion of Democracy. 

The book looks at how, in the past two decades, democratically elected executives across the world have used their popularity to push for legislation that, over time, destroys systems of checks and balances, hinders free and fair elections, and undermines political rights and civil liberties. Gamboa Gutierrez explores why, in these situations, some countries become competitive authoritarian regimes while others resist democratic backsliding, comparing as case studies Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and Alvaro Uribe in Colombia.

"The most urgent question for democrats today is not 'Why do voters support leaders with authoritarian aspirations?' but 'How can we confront those leaders once they are in power?'" said Kellogg Director Aníbal Pérez-Liñan in a review of the book. "Gamboa offers answers grounded in rigorous comparative research and in sound normative principles. This book charts the path for a new research agenda.’"

Gamboa is an assistant professor at the University of Utah whose research focuses on institutions, regimes, and regime change in Latin America.