The Latin American Politics Student Research Committee aims to bring together a network of political scientists working on issues relevant to Latin America in the areas of comparative politics, political economy, and international relations. It also seeks to strengthen the network of scholars whose research focuses on all aspects of Latin American political development. The region has received increasing attention lately following a series of unfortunate events triggered by controversial leaders, corruption scandals and unstable governments; but there is much more to the study and research of Latin American Politics. The complexity of the layered, a-times segregated societies that compose the bloc make it an undeniably interesting region to explore. As political scientists we have a substantial opportunity to explore these issues and nowadays even greater resources to do so. The contribution we aim to make from is that of producing quality research on the region’s most pressing issues and under-explored themes. Membership of the Latin American Politics SRC is open to all academics interested in Latin American Politics, including PhD students and practitioners.
Freddy H. Alpalá Cuesta, Chair of the SRC
Freddy H. Alpalá Cuesta is a Colombian undergraduate student in Political Studies and Conflict Resolution at University of Valle (Colombia). His research interests include: Ethnic conflicts, Peacebuilding, International Cooperation, Public Policies analysis and Poverty. He presented papers about Public policy of Childhood Well-Being, Public policies of poverty in Colombia and Brazil, Restitution of land rights in indigenous people Colombians at the National Congress of Political Science SAAP (Argentine Society of Political Analysis) in Argentina in August 2017, at the World Congress of Political Science IPSA (International Political Science Association) in Poland in July 2016, at the IAPSS Conference in Latin America in Ecuador in November 2015 and at the Latin American Congress of Political Science ALACIP (Latin American Association of Political Science) in July 2015 in Peru.
He was volunteer of the Colombian Red Cross and currently he is Coordinator in Cali of pedagogical committee of Rodeemos el Diálogo ReD (Embrace dialogue) who is a transnational, non-partisan network of Colombians and friends of Colombia that emerged in the United Kingdom in 2012, when peace talks began between the Government of Colombia and the FARC. ReD supports the negotiated settlement of armed conflicts and contributes to the building of peace by strengthening a culture of dialogue.
Grace Avila Casanova, Vice-Chair of the SRC
Currently Msc Candidate at King’s College London Department of International Development (DID) in Emerging Economies & International Development, also pursuing a specialisation programme at the Latin American Council for Social Sciences (CLACSO) in Public Policy for Equality in Latin America. She’s the main researcher at the Policy Centre for Religion, Culture and Ethics at King’s Think Tank; she’s member of the London International Development Centre (LIDC) and UK Coordinator for the World Organisation for Democracy and Development. She graduated from Kingston University with a First Class honours degree in Politics & International Relations. Former JASSO scholarship recipient from the Japanese government for undertaking studies in Indigenous Rights in the global context at Hiroshima University, Japan.
Previous research areas include the World Bank’s approach to development and the approaches to development by indigenous populations and governments in turn; social & environmental conflict, structural poverty; human rights, political violence and transitional justice processes.
Further research topics include the emerging economies’ efforts in education policy; extractive industries & development in South Asia and Latin America; informal economy, property rights and poverty alleviation.
She holds a degree in Political Science and International Relations (Universidad Argentina de la Empresa) and a post-graduate course in Development, Regional Integration and Public Policy (FLACSO, Argentina). Currently, she is working at SISUR-IPPDH-MERCOSUR as Associated Researcher in the field of Public Policy and Human Rights. She is also member of the Group of Young Researchers at the Institute of International Relations from the University of La Plata and is a member of the IPSA Research Committee 44 – Military’s Role in Democratization and IPSA Research Committee 13 related to Democratization in Comparative Perspective. She has a vast experience as young researcher in think tanks (Consejo Argentino para las Relaciones Internacionales), universities (INSOD-UADE), NGOs (CIGOB Foundation) and as research assistant of an United Nations international consultant.
Her area of studies are referred to Latin American politics, Development and International Cooperation, Regional Integration (with special emphasis on MERCOSUR-European Union relations) and Gender Studies. She is member of IAPSS since 2014. She lives between Argentina and Italy.
Andressa is currently undertaking a Master’s degree in Political Science (Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas, Portugal) having previously completed Bachelor’s degrees in Social Science (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) and International Relations (Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing, Brazil). More recently, she completed a Summer School program on Democratic Innovations (Université Saint-Louvain, Belgium). Andressa has also received a scholarship from the Coimbra Group for academic mobility in 2016 for a Bachelor’s in Social Science (Cordoba University, Colombia).
Her research areas of interest include political culture; democracy; political participation; political behaviour; Brazil; and Latin America. More recently her work focuses on the crisis of representation and patterns of political culture and participation in Brazil, in addition to political participation and democratic innovations throughout Latin America.