Political Science

Carla Alberti is a fourth year graduate student in the political science department from Chile. Her research focuses on issues of ethnicity, local democracy, and customary governance in Latin America. Currently, she is conducting field research in Bolivia for her dissertation funded by a Fulbright fellowship.

Catalina Arreaza is a second-year student from Bogotá, Colombia, interested in International Relations and Comparative Politics in Latin America. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, and a M.A. in International Affairs from New School University, New York. Before being awarded with a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her M.A degree, Catalina served as a Human Rights Consultant for the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has also worked on several research projects with distinct faculty members of Universidad de los Andes. Prior to starting her Ph.D at Brown, she worked as coordinator for Universidad de los Andes' Center for International Studies. Her most recent publications include two co- authored book chapters, focusing on the nexus between violent non-state actors and drug-trafficking in Colombia (with A.B. Tickner and D. García, 2011), and on the role played by international actors in peacebuilding initiatives in Colombia (with A.C. Mason, 2012).

Maria Angelica Bautista is a fourth-year graduate student from Bogotá, Colombia. Her main research interests are political economy and development. In particular, in her dissertation she will study the long-run consequences of repression during dictatorship in Chile and Argentina.

Rebecca Bell Martin is a first year graduate student studying comparative politics and international relations with special interests in Latin American studies, political violence, transnational organized crime, and the cultural manifestations of power and violence. Her current research includes the sociocultural power of transnational criminal organizations and organized crime's use of extra-lethal violence. Rebecca earned her M.A. in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School and earned her B.A. with honors from Whittier College, where she triple-majored in Political Science, Cultural Anthropology, and Spanish Language.

Elizabeth Bennett is a sixth year PhD candidate in international relations and comparative politics, and a research associate at the Center for Fair and Alternative Trade at Colorado State University. Her dissertation examines multi-stakeholder engagement in international development INGOs, and is supported by the American Council on Germany, the German Academic Exchange, the Tinker Foundation, the Stephen Robert Foundation, and the Watson Institute for International Studies. Elizabeth is a co-author of The Civic Imagination (Paradigm Press, 2013), a collaborative, interdisciplinary ethnography of political engagement in America. She has also published several book chapters, and her work appears in The American Journal of Sociology, Globalizations, and The Journal for International Policy Studies. Elizabeth’s research interests include international development, social enterprise, North-South inequality, ethical certifications, and civic engagement. Before coming to Brown, Elizabeth earned a MALD in political economy and international development at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, interned at USAID in Washington DC, taught public high school in NYC, worked for a Mexican NGO, and taught at Tufts University. More information can be found on her website at www.ElizabethAnneBennett.com.

Lachen Chernyha is a fourth year graduate student from Connecticut.   She has a B.A. in Political Science and International and Global Studies and an M.A. in Political Science from Brandeis University.  Her primary field is Comparative Politics, with a focus on ethnic conflict and identity politics.  The majority of her research has centered on Spain, particularly the Basque Country and Catalonia.  Lachen's secondary field is International Relations.

Diego Diaz is a third year Ph.D. candidate from Santiago, Chile. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in political science from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Prior to initiation of his PhD studies, Diego worked as a regional consultant for UNDP in the project "Pluralizing and Extending a Network of Actors for Citizens' Democracy in Latin America." Currently, he is a Fulbright scholar and holds a fellowship from the Chilean government. His main field is comparative politics, focusing on Latin America. Particularly, he is interested in the determinants of programmatic and non-programmatic institutionalization of democracy in Latin America, as well as the different forms that party system institutionalization can take -programmatic, non-programmatic, and the several combinations in-between- and how this is affected by diverse political and economic variables. 

Jazmin Sierra is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Brown University specializing in comparative and international political economy with a regional focus in Latin America. She earned her M.A. in Political Science from Brown University and a B.A. in International Studies from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Her research interests include the developmental state, state-business relations, geopolitics of oil and Brazilian politics. Her dissertation, which explores the role of the state in the emergence of developing country multinational corporations, has received funding from the Social Science Research Council (IDRF-SSRC). She has conducted fieldwork in Brazil, Chile and Mexico and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. She is currently a graduate fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies.