I research democratization, authoritarian regimes, and political parties, with a focus on Latin America.

My book Life after Dictatorship: Authoritarian Successor Parties Worldwide (Cambridge University Press, 2018) (co-edited with Scott Mainwaring) examines the phenomenon of “authoritarian successor parties,” or parties that emerge from authoritarian regimes but operate after a transition to democracy. They are major actors in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, and have been voted back into office in over one-half of all third-wave democracies. Why are they so prevalent? Why are some more successful than others? What are their effects on democracy?

My book Challenges of Party-Building in Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2016) (co-edited with Steven Levitsky, Brandon Van Dyck, and Jorge I. Domínguez) examines how extraordinary conflict has enabled a handful of new parties to beat the odds and succeed at a time of widespread party breakdown.

My monograph (in progress), Conservative Party-Building in Latin America: Authoritarian Inheritance and Counterrevolutionary Struggle, examines the diverging fates of conservative parties formed in Latin America since the late 1970s. Why did the most successful new conservative parties all have roots in former authoritarian regimes, while those with better democratic credentials all failed? The book examines the paradoxical role of “authoritarian inheritance,” or resources inherited from former dictatorships, in enabling parties to succeed under democracy.

For applications of my research to current events, see my pieces in The Washington Post here and here and The New York Times here.

For an overview of some of my research, see my Kellogg Institute Working Paper “Authoritarian Successor Parties Worldwide: A Framework for Analysis.”

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