We at the Center for Inter-American Policy & Research would like to welcome our four new incoming post-doctoral fellows for the 2020-2021 academic year. They will be joining post-doctoral fellow Stefanie Israel de Souza a sociologist with research interests in comparative urban marginality, criminology, culture, political sociology, social movements, race and ethnicity, and qualitative methods who continues on for her second year at CIPR. These four post-doctoral fellows will begin their year at CIPR in early July.
Jared Abbott is joining us from the Department of Government at Harvard University. His research explores the causes and effects of non-electoral political participation, with a focus on the strategic incentives of political parties and how to shape participatory institutions. The first part of his dissertation, entitled The Paradox of Participatory Institutions: Exploring the Causes and Effects of Binding Participatory Institutions, explores the conditions that produce gaps between formal Binding Participatory Institutions (BPI) adoption into national laws or constitutions, and nationwide implementation. The second part of his dissertations explores the fate of BPIs after implementation. Specifically, why do BPIs often represent particular interests, even though they are meant to serve the whole community. Abbott’s dissertation explores the implications of this theory in nine Latin American countries, and draws upon over a year and-a-half of fieldwork in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Brazil. In addition to CIPR-related duties, Abbott plans to develop his dissertation into a book project by exploring additional case studies in Latin American countries not already treated in his dissertation.
Katherine McKiernan joins us from the department of political science at the University of North Carolina. Her dissertation, entitled Club Goods Provision: The Effect of Weak Parties on Allocation Strategies, analyzes the use of club goods as a clientelist benefit in weak party contexts. She plans to expand her dissertation topic to explore the long-term effect of clientelist political strategies in Latin America via two projects: one which will consider the effect of different types of electoral cycles on the use of club goods benefits and the other which will consider the effects of club goods distributions on persistent inequality in Latin America. Furthermore, she plans to expand my dataset estimating subnational clientelism in order to track how the use of local-level clientelism has changed overtime, across public sectors, and in contexts beyond Colombia.
Camilo Nieto-Matiz will join CIPR from the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame with a PhD in political science. He specializes in comparative politics and international relations. His primary research interests include the political economy of conflict and violence, state capacity and governance, and democratic institutions in Latin America. A central question motivating his research is how to establish political order and governance in areas of limited statehood. As a post-doctoral fellow at CIPR he will transform his dissertation into a book manuscript and work on a series of solo and collaborative research projects in addition to his CIPR commitments.
Cameron James Sells is joining us from the Department of Political Science from the University of California at San Diego. Sells studies political parties and political behavior in Latin America; his dissertation is entitled, The Life of the Party: Grassroots Activists and Mass Partisanship in Latin America. He has conducted field research in Chile and Uruguay. His research is about how Latin American parties organize at the grassroots level, and how their organizational strategies affect their relationship with voters. At CIPR he will prepare a manuscript based on his dissertation research; his book project, The Life of the Party: Grassroots Activists and Mass Partisanship in Latin America, examines the role that party activists play in forging and maintaining other voters’ partisan identities.