Hi! I received a Ph.D. In Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Starting Fall 2016 I will be a Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, France.
I study political representation in the developing world. My dissertation conceptualizes a new type of clientelistic party, which despite being widespread has not been properly theorized. I refer to it as modular. Since clientelism – the exchange of goods for votes -- requires substantial organization, scholars often assume that only dominant parties or solid political machines can engage in clientelistic mobilization. I show that is not the case. Rather, modular parties are makeshift organizations whose integrity from one election to the next is uncertain, but whose politicians are nevertheless able to mobilize voters through patron--client relationships.
Hierarchical structures of social control predate electoral democracies, and modular parties allow these structures to survive democratization. Modular parties do not own, but “hire’’ or outsource the networks of clients they use. Well before the advent of elections, community chiefs, community organization leaders, ethnic leaders, landowners, local politicians, and other types of local notables already have established considerable political capital through their private and relatively small clienteles. Instead of ignoring or dismantling these networks, politicians created modular parties to connect them. Using rigorous research design and statistical methods, extensive fieldwork, and interviews with politicians ranking from city councilors to former presidents, I demonstrate that the organizational fluidity of modular parties allows politicians to mobilize clients almost overnight, at the expense of durable party-voters linkages.
Before joining the program, I received an MS in Economics from the School of Economics of São Paulo - Fundação Getúlio Vargas, and before that a BA in Economics from the University of São Paulo. I also hold an MA in Political Science from UC Berkeley.
Thanks for visiting!