María Luisa Paúl Rangel is a native of Caracas, Venezuela. Living under Venezuela’s current political, economic, and social situation propelled Paúl Rangel’s interest in democratization and foreign policy, and inspired her to understand the mechanisms of her country’s democratic erosion. Given her research interests, Paúl Rangel is assisting Professor Michael Coppedge in his research project consisting of international processes tracing Venezuela’s efforts to export the Bolivarian model throughout Latin America. Through this investigation, they are hoping to develop a case study about Venezuela to be featured in an upcoming book.

Last summer, Paúl Rangel interned at the Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald as a breaking news and real-time reporter. There, she co-authored an investigative story about the situation of Venezuelan asylum-seekers in the US-Mexico border. This experience served to propel Paúl Rangel’s interest in immigration, as well as to allow her to develop her journalistic and investigative skills.

Political Science
Gallivan Program for Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy
Current Research

Research Interests
I am interested in Latin American politics, particularly in Venezuela. Moreover, I am interested in understanding the factors that can undermine and deteriorate democracy, as well as the conditions under which it is able to flourish. Other interests include the role of diasporas in rebuilding countries and the link between women empowerment and development.

Current Research
The project consists on an international process tracing of Venezuela’s efforts to export the “Bolivarian” model throughout Latin America. I am focused on finding evidence of Venezuela’s efforts by researching the country’s relations with other countries, its treaties and other international agreements, etc.


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