The Inequality of Security in Rio de Janeiro
This research elaborates a new concept called the 'Inequality of Security' which shows how security is a societal good and human right that is inequitably distributed among Rio de Janeiro's different social classes and geographic areas. The most important variable to consider for the Inequality of Security concept are the security providers - namely armed forces, police, UPPs, private security companies, drug trafficking factions and militias. Organised in a complex security network, these state and non-state actors deploy violence in multiple forms for their economic and political ends, forcing us to reconsider notions of citizenship and the rule of law.
The Southern Policy of Uysses Grant
My thesis is a revisionist history of the Southern policy of Ulysses S. Grant. Focussing almost entirely on the Grant Papers, my intention it to account for policy choices, and define Grant's Southern policy, primarily through an interpretation and analysis of his own words. My thesis analyses issues along racial and political lines so as to account for key policy choices made by Grant. Each chapter focuses on a specific stage in his public career linking personal beliefs or political aims to specific actions. By following a chronological order my thesis identifies a certain evolution within the policy but also emphasises a continuation of Civil War era ideals.
Maria de Vecchi
¡Vivxs lxs queremos! The Battles of Memory around the Disappeared in Mexico
Enforced disappearances in Mexico are, nowadays, a public problem that needs to be studied. According to official sources, there are more than 26,000 people disappeared in the country. This research aims to analyse the discourses and the struggles of the relatives of the disappeared during the last presidential period (2006-2012) linking it with those of the disappeared in the 1970s. Through an analysis of public policies launched by the State, I will also try to understand why enforced disappearances have not been solved but rather have increased in a worrying proportion in Mexico. For this, I will use three theoretical frameworks: i) theories of memory and of dealing with the past, ii) discourse analysis and iii) Transitional Justice literature.
The Red Tandem: Conservative Republicans and Socialism in Contemporary America
My PhD thesis focuses on conservative Republican criticism of Democrats in post-Cold War America. From the conservative perspective, Democrats support policies that favour government over the free-market. Conservative rhetoric uses key words to further bolster their assertions. This rhetoric accuses Democrats of supporting core ideals which are liberal, socialist and un-American in their tendencies. The intent of conservatives is to portray their party as the party that will defend true and authentic American values against the liberal values of big government Democrats. In each chapter I analyse how Republican conservatism now embodies a movement that is much more flexible and extremist in its language, and as a result makes modern day Democrats (and even Republicans of previous eras) out to be supporters of socialism.
My journal article: Myth, Memory and the Reagan Legacy: Taxes and the GOP
Finding Voice at Last? Institutional Continuity and Change and Indigenous Politics in Peru
My PhD thesis is a comparative study of indigenous political participation in Peru. It aims to demonstrate the pattern of indigenous political participation at the sub-national level, taking the Andean departments of Huancavelica and Puno and the Amazonian department of Loreto as case studies. It then attempts to explain this pattern using a tri-dimensional analysis that looks at state-indigenous relationships, intermediary-indigenous relationships and local community relationships in the three regions. Peru is chosen as a 'deviant case' due to its less evident ethnically based political participation compared to the recent political history in neighbouring countries such as Ecuador and Bolivia.
The 'double movement' in the Andes: land reform, land markets and indigenous mobilisation in Highland Ecuador (1964-1994)
My thesis explores land reform, land markets and indigenous mobilisation in Highland Ecuador through a Polanyian lens. Fresh insight is provided into the design and implementation of land reform, the construction and reconstruction of land markets, and indigenous struggles over land. I emphasize the crucial role indigenous organisation and mobilisation performed in implementing land reform and cast new light on the nature of the 1990 and 1994 indigenous levantamientos. The thesis also offers a fresh perspective on the use of Karl Polanyi's concepts to explore social, political and economic change in Latin America. The contemporary relevance of the research is demonstrated through the analysis of natural resource conflicts under Rafael Correa, concentrating on indigenous and peasant attempts to bring the use and distribution of land under social control.
Ethnicity, Race, and Racism in Contemporary Peruvian Politics: Elections, Stereotypes and Public Images
My research focuses on the role of ethnicity, race and racism in contemporary Andean politics. Specifically, I am interested in how ethnic identity and racial attitudes may influence voters' electoral decision-making - the ways in which voters construct, and evaluate, socio-political profiles of electoral candidates, their parties and political projects during electoral campaigns - and how such (stereotypic) profiles, or images, impact on voters' electoral preferences. It is hoped that the combination of 'macro-level' cross-country comparative analysis (largely based on existing survey data) with a more 'micro-level' investigation of how voters gather and process political information (drawing on data from a computer-based 'election simulation' and a series of focus groups and interviews), will provide important insights into how (and perhaps why) race and ethnicity are drawn into, and may shape, electoral politics in the region today.
Promoting Keynesian Liberalism: Walter W, Heller and US Economic Policy, 1940-1987
My research project examines the career of the American economist Walter W. Heller and uses this as a lens onto the rise, ascendancy and eclipse of Keynesian liberalism in the United States. Throughout his career, Heller championed the use of Keynesian economic policies to achieve liberal ends. He rose to prominence as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson administrations, and successfully convinced both presidents to use Keynesian policies to underwrite the liberal agenda of the 1960s. Because of this, Heller is widely regarded as one of the most influential and effective economic advisers in US history, however he has been curiously understudied by historians. My research project seeks to foster a greater academic appreciation for Heller. By doing so, it will examine the way in which Keynesian economists helped shape the political success of liberalism from the 1940s through to the 1960s, before exploring how they responded to the rise of conservative economic doctrines as American politics turned rightward in the 1970s and 1980s.
A Debt to Democracy? Media Regulation and Reform in Argentina and the Southern Cone
Carmen G. Sepulveda Zelaya
The Legal and Political Battles Behind the Distribution of Emergency Contraception in Chile under Ricardo Lagos (2000-2005) and Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010)
My research focuses on the legal and political battles behind the distribution of emergency contraception in Chile -- under the Concertación governments of Ricardo Lagos (2000-2005) and Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010). I am interested in the role of institutions and actors in the policy process, particularly feminists, lawyers, and doctors, as well as judges and courts within a context of increasing judicialisation of women's reproductive rights. I believe my research contributes to current debates on feminist political science and sociology of law. My thematic interests include: feminism, women's movements, sexual and reproductive rights, gender and health, abortion, public health, democratisation, judicialisation processes.
Diasporic Argentinean and Chilean identities in Britain: The traces of dictatorship in second-generation postmemory
My PhD looks at second-generation Chileans and Argentineans living in the UK, and their postmemories contained within their personal life narratives in relation to the last military dictatorships in those countries. It argues that within these individual memories formed in a familial terrain, we can also trace the contours of a much more collective memory that reflects a different and alternative memory landscape to that found in the Southern Cone. My research interests are in intergenerational memory, diasporic identities, exile, gender, oral history, and migration.
US Foreign Policy Towards Afghanistan, 1979-2014: A Case Study of Constructivism in International Relations
A case study of US foreign policy towards Afghanistan from the Soviet intervention of 1979 to the exit of US/ISAF combat troops in 2014, this thesis examines how the interpretation of America’s interests and identity have shaped its long-term involvement with that country. This sets it apart from the existing literature, which predominantly emphasises how the US has been motivated by its own self-interest in its dealings with Afghanistan. Whilst it does not entirely reject the importance of both realist and neo-realist assumptions, this thesis mainly deploys a constructivist theoretical approach to achieve its objectives.
Chilean Youth Political Disaffection: Analyzing its historical trends and its associated factors
This research aims to explain current high levels of political disaffection among Chilean youth. Since the return to democracy in 1990 Chile has experienced good levels of both economic development and political stability. However, with the pass of years the youth have increased their levels of hostility towards formal political institutions. Moreover, in recent times these feelings of disaffection have begun to be expressed through strong social movements. This dissertation intends to understand this problematic situation through both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the relationship between youth and the Chilean political system taking into account current popular mobilizations.
The Making of a Patronage Democracy: The Nature and Implications of Rampant Political Clientelism in Post-Independence Belize
Using Belize as an illustrative and critical national case study, the thesis revisits the modern politics and democratisation experiences of the Commonwealth Caribbean through the analytic lens of entrenched political clientelism. It explores the origins of political clientelism in Belize since adult suffrage and the emergence of political parties in the 1950s, tracks and explains its rapid expansion and persistence in the post-independence (1981) period, and critically assesses the implications presented for democratic governance in Belize and other small states of the Commonwealth Caribbean. The research project is being conducted with the support of a United Kingdom Commonwealth Scholarship.
The Testimony of Space: Exploring Sites of Violence and Memory in Peru's Internal Armed Conflict
Almost twenty-three years on from the capture and imprisonment of Abimael Guzmán, and twelve years since the publication of the Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación's Informe Final, the Shining Path insurrection which engulfed Peru in the last two decades of the twentieth century remains a highly political issue that raises questions of racism, justice and memory. However, whilst the current body of literature on the conflict has developed significantly during this time with contributions from many different academic fields, little attention has been paid to the spatiality of the conflict. Since the nineteenth century, Peru has been characterised as a nation divided into three spaces, each of which has its own spatial practice; la costa (the coast), la sierra (the highlands), la selva (the jungle). Spatial practices and processes not only produce violence, they shape ideas about, and the manifestation of, concepts including race, justice and memory. For this reason, my research project will attempt to fill the gap in the current body of literature from which a spatial approach to Peru's internal armed conflict is missing.