UCL Institute of the Americas


Dr Malu Gatto appointed as Global Fellow of the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute

24 September 2019

M Gatto

Dr Malu A. C. Gatto is Assistant Professor of Latin American Politics at the UCL Institute of the Americas. Previously, she was as a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science at the University of Zurich. Dr Gatto's work explores questions about political behaviour, representation, policy-making, and gender and politics with a regional focus on Latin America, especially Brazil. Her academic research has been published in the JPLA and PS: Political Science and Politics and she has also provided analysis on Brazilian politics and women's political representation for, among others, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, the BBC, and El Pais. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College (2011), and an MSc (2012) and DPhil (2016) from the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford.

Project Summary

Since the protests of June 2013, social scientists have turned to understand the "crisis of representation" in Brazil. First, scholars turned to understand the core factors underpinning voters' disillusionment with the political class. More recently, researchers have begun assessing the consequences of voters' low levels of trust in elites and traditional parties to "politics as we know it." The rise of non-partisan political movements and electoral success of new parties and contenders in the 2018 elections provides further insights into emerging political dynamics. In a series of papers, this project seeks to better understand whether and how this crisis has impacted the representation of groups historically excluded from formal politics. For example, does low trust in traditional elites create political opportunities for women? Can skepticism towards formal politics trigger greater (and different) forms of engagement with government institutions?

Major Publications

  • Selecting In or Selecting Out? Gender gaps and political methodology in Europe
  • Postmaterialism and Political Elites: The ValuePriorities of Brazilian Legislators
  • The Variation of Quota Designs and Their Origins in Latin America

Previous Terms

Swiss Scholar, 2018