Academic

Teaching

These are courses I have taught at the University of Hamburg, at the Faculty of Humanities, in the Latin American Studies program; at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, in the Institute of Political Science; at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, in the Master of Peace and Security Studies program and at Lüneburg Leuphana University’s USAC program.

Spring Semester 2017

Government and Politics in Germany and Europe, University Studies Abroad Consortium, Leuphana University (BA and MA levels, in English).

Fall Semester 2016

Taking Stock of a Region: Latin American Political Developments versus Economic Outcomes. Master of Peace and Security Studies program, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (MA level, in English and German).

The European Union: Processes, Dynamics and Structures, University Studies Abroad Consortium, Leuphana University Lüneburg (BA and MA levels, in English).

Summer Semester 2016

The European Union: Processes, Dynamics and Structures, University Studies Abroad Consortium, Leuphana University Lüneburg (BA and MA levels, in English).

Spring Semester 2016

Government and Politics in Germany and Europe, University Studies Abroad Consortium, Leuphana University (BA and MA levels, in English).

Fall Semester 2015

The European Union: Processes, Dynamics and Structures, University Studies Abroad Consortium, Leuphana University Lüneburg (BA and MA levels, in English).

Summer Semester 2015

Introduction to the Expanded Europe, University Studies Abroad Consortium, Leuphana University Lüneburg (BA and MA levels, in English).

Institutions of Government: Presidentialism and Parlamentarism in Comparative Perspective, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science, University of Hamburg (BA level, in English and German).

Spring Semester 2015

Government and Politics in Germany and Europe, University Studies Abroad Consortium, Leuphana University (BA and MA levels, in English).

Winter Semester 2014/15

In Search of German Roots: Tracing your Family History, University Studies Abroad Consortium, Leuphana University (BA and MA levels, in English).

Ethnic Conflict and Diversity in Western Europe, University Studies Abroad Consortium, Leuphana University (BA and MA levels, in English).

International Affairs since 1945, University Studies Abroad Consortium, Leuphana University. Together with Dr. Sybille Reinke de Buitrago (BA and MA levels, in English).

Democracy, Conflict and Violence in Latin America: A Comparative Case Studies Approach, Master of Peace and Security Studies program, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (MA level, in English and German).

Summer Semester 2014

Parliamentarism vs. Presidentialism: Democracy and its Institutions, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science, University of Hamburg (BA level, in English).

Winter Semester 2013/14

The Development of Democracy in Latin America in the Third Wave, Latin American Studies Department, University of Hamburg (BA level, in German).

Parliamentarism vs. Presidentialism: Democracy and its Institutions, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science, University of Hamburg (BA level, in English).

Democracy and Conflict: A Case Study on Latin America, Master of Peace and Security Studies program, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (MA level, in English and German).

Winter Semester 2012-2013

Exploring the Relationship Between Democracy and Violence, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Political Science, University of Hamburg, Seminar blog (BA level, in German).

Winter Semester 2011-2012

Democracy and Conflict: A Case Study on Latin America, Master of Peace and Security Studies program, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (MA level, in English and German).

Summer Semester 2011

Problems of Democracy in Latin America, Latin American Studies Department, University of Hamburg. Together with Dr. Mariana Llanos (BA and MA levels, in Spanish).

Winter Semester 2010-2011

Democracy and Conflict: A Case Study on Latin America, Master of Peace and Security Studies program, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (MA level, in English).

Summer Semester 2010

Democratic Institutions and Conflict in Latin America, Latin American Studies, University of Hamburg. Together with Dr. Mariana Llanos (BA and MA levels, in Spanish).

Winter Semester 2009-2010

Democracy and Conflict: A Case Study on Latin America, Master of Peace and Security Studies program, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (MA level, in English).

Winter Semester 2007-2008

Politic Representation and Electoral Systems in Latin America, Latin American Studies, University of Hamburg. Together with Dr. Mariana Llanos (BA and MA levels, in Spanish).

Research

My current research focuses on contemporary democratic theory, democratization and democratic processes as well as the democratic institutions working within democracy. A basic inquiry that frames my interests is how do institutions and the democratic process interact with each other? In particular, do, and if so, how do democratic institutions shape, modify, affect, the behavior of other institutions and/or individuals within the democratic process? How do these institutions affect the process itself?

My doctoral project, for example, analyzed the effects decentralization had on the democratic deepening process in Bolivia. In specific terms, how and why do the different institutions implemented as part of the decentralization of central governments affected the democratic process. A second project looked at the reasons why so many Latin American presidencies have broken down. Once again, I looked at how and why the institution of the presidency can be interrupted (see publications). Yet, a third (more conceptual) project has focused on the relationship between democracy and violence. This last project was born from a seminar I have been teaching about the relationship between democracy and conflict and looks at the institutions of democracy itself and their underlying (maybe intrinsic?) relationship with violence.

I mainly concentrate on Latin American politics (focus on the Andes) and Bolivian politics, yet I regularly take a look at Europe and the US.

Finally, my interests lie on the following disciplines and methods: comparative area studies, area studies, mixed-methods analysis, case studies, data analysis with R, and qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Current projects

1. The effects of decentralization in the democratic processes in the Andes region.

This project seeks to expand my dissertation by applying a comparative perspective and adopting a traditional qualitative approach to the analysis of the cases. I am looking at Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.

2. The relationship between Democracy and violence.

This project was born out of several seminar I gave about conflict, violence and the democratic process in Latin America and from the very provoking ideas John Schwarzmantel presented in his special issue: “Democracy and Violence: A Theoretical Overview”.

3. The Process of Change in Bolivia.

This project seeks to better understand the so called “process of change” Evo Morales is implementing in Bolivia since his arrival to power.

Activities

My academic activities range from involvement in the organization of research groups to active participation in international academic gatherings.

Latin American Studies Association

LASA is by far the most important academic association for Latin Americanists. In the last years I have participated in LASA’s extraordinary and annually organized congress. In the last meeting in Washington, DC., when I was awarded a participation scholarship, me and some colleagues organized one panel on decentralization and democracy in Latin America.

While on DC, I also worked on the organization of two panels and several other events for the LASA Bolivia section. For the section I have been a founding member and was elected council member for the section  for two consecutive terms.

At the University of Hamburg, I created a doctoral students network, funded by the DAAD and the International Department of the University of Hamburg. The aim was to provide informational and social support for all those independent doctoral students who were engaging in such a challenge without the support of an organization. This project was then merged, after I left, with the efforts of the university to provide social and personal support to all doctoral students.

Other academic organizations

I have been active member (paper presentations and panel organizations) in the Midwestern Political Science Association (MPSA), in the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), the International Political Science Association (IPSA), the German Association of Political Science (DVPW), European Political Science Association (EPSA), the Asociación Latinoamericana de Ciencia Politica (ALACIP), etc.

Other activities

I have given lectures and talks about Bolivian politics, mostly, in and around the city where I live. I find the sharing of knowledge with society a central task for academics.