Brazilian congress and statue

The theme for this year’s Latin American Politics working group is “Political Reconfiguration in Latin America: Public Opinion and Political Economy.” This working group aims to unite graduate students interested in Latin American politics from both Duke and UNC in order to expose them to current advancements in Latin American Politics, new scholarship in the field, and state of the art methods used by Latin American scholars in Political Science. Working group activities will allow graduate students and faculty the opportunity to meet with scholars in the field and learn about their ongoing research projects, and will offer graduate students a forum to present their own research and receive feedback from fellow students and faculty. Specifically the working group will organize seminars with guest speakers, meetings in which graduate students present their work, a mini-conference, and a book club.


Prof. Pablo Beramendi (Political Science, Duke,
Prof. Jonathan Hartlyn (Political Science, UNC,
Prof. Evelyne Huber (Political Science, UNC,
Prof. Cecilia Martínez Gallardo (Political Science, UNC,
Prof. Santiago Olivella, (Political Science, UNC-Chapel Hill,
Matias Tarillo (Political Science, UNC),
Ayélen Vanegas
(Political Science, UNC),
Mateo Villamizar Chaparro (Political Science, Duke),

Upcoming Events

Friday, May 3, 2024 @ 9:00 a.m.

Annual Mini-conference

The UNC-Duke Consortium Working Group in Latin American Politics presents a mini-conference. Invited speakers are Prof. María Victoria Murillo (Columbia University) and Prof. Jenny Guardado (Georgetown University). Mateo Villamizar Chaparro (Duke) and Matías Tarillo (UNC) will be our graduate student presenters.

Latin American Politics Working Group mini-conference

Professors Murillo and Guardado will be available for meetings with graduate students and faculty on Thursday May 2nd during the afternoon. (To schedule a meeting or join the speakers for lunch:

Past Events

Wednesday, Feb 7, 2024 @ 5:30 p.m.

Book Club with Rachel A. Schwartz

We will be reading and discussing Rachel Schwartz‘s book Undermining the State from Within: The Institutional Legacies of Civil War in Central America. Dr. Schwartz has agreed to join us virtually to discuss her work with us! If you are interested in corruption, counterinsurgency, and the relationship between the state and war this is a great book to read. The Duke/UNC Latin American Working Group will be giving copies of the book to the first people who register to the event. Contact Mateo Villamizar Chaparro for location.

book cover of Undermining the State from Within by Rachel Schwartz

Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023 @ 11 a.m. | Virtual via Zoom

Book Club with Prof. Luis Schiumerini

Prof. Luis Schiumerini (University of Notre Dame) will present his manuscript “Incumbency Bias: Bounded Accountability and Democratic Representation in Latin America.”


photo of Luis Schiumerini
Prof. Luis Schiumerini

Friday, May 5, 2023 @ 9 a.m.-12 p.m. | FedEx Global Education Center, Room 3024, UNC-Chapel Hill


With Prof. Noam Lupu (Vanderbilt University) and Prof. Abby Córdova (Notre Dame). Gabriella Levy and Ayelén Vanegas will be our graduate student presenters. 

photo Noam Lupu
Prof. Noam Lupu
photo Abby Cordova
Prof. Abby Córdova

Wed, March 8, 2023 | Hamilton Hall, UNC-CH

Wed, March 29, 2023 | Virtual

Prof. Claudio Fuentes (visiting professor at UNC)
“Why the apparent reversal? Explaining why Chilean voters rejected a new progressive constitution”
Manuscript Reading Club
Prof. Emily Sellars’ book manuscript on Emigration, Collective Action, and Reform. She uses a historical political lense to analyze twentieth century Mexico.

Friday, Nov 4, 2022 @ 3 p.m. | Hamilton Hall 271, UNC-Chapel Hill

Partisan Dehumanisation in Brazil

With Prof. David Samuels, Distinguished McKnight Professor, University of Minnesota

flyer for brazil event

Wednesday, April 6, 2022 @ 6 p.m.

Latecomer State Formation

Latin American Politics Book Club

We discussed Prof. Mazzuca’s book, Latecomer State Formation, on April 6th at 6 pm via zoom. We expect participants to have read the book beforehand. Prof. Mazzuca made some remarks about his book, and then held a Q&A session for participants to ask questions about the book. Email for more info.

Friday, Jan 28, 2022 @ 10 a.m.

photo of ernesto calvo

Doubt the Messenger: The reputation cost of fact-checking. 

Ernesto Calvo is the director of the Interdisciplinary Lab for Computational Social Science (iLCSS) and a Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. He researches comparative political institutions, social media, political representation, and social networks. His work lies at the intersection of big data, survey experiments, and institutions.

Monday, Sept 27, 2021 @ 4 p.m.

Dr. Lagunes’ new book The Eye & the Whip: Corruption Control in the Americas (Oxford University Press) argues that corruption vulnerabilities exist where government officials have power over the provision of goods and the imposition of costs. Corruption vulnerabilities turn to actual threats when officials calculate that the benefits of abusing their power are greater than the penalties associated with getting caught. By a similar logic, the formula for corruption control requires increasing the probability of detecting deviations from officially sanctioned roles through enhanced monitoring (what he refers to as the eye), and then applying the appropriate penalty in response to wrongdoing (the whip). However, across Latin America, the common policy response to corruption often emphasizes only the first of the two mechanisms. In the book he analyzes the results of three field experiments on corruption control conducted in the City of Queretaro in Central Mexico, urban and peri-urban districts in Peru, and New York City.

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 @ 12pm

flyer for Agustina Paglayan event

Monday, October 26, 2020 @ 12pm

Lucas Novaes flyer

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 @ 1pm

image for Eduardo Moncada event