Political Science

Carla Alberti is a 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 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).

Rebecca Bell Martin is a 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.

Aimée Bourassa is a third year Ph.D. candidate from Canada studying comparative politics with a regional emphasis on Latin America. She holds a B.Sc. in International Studies from the University of Montreal and a M.A. in Political Science from McGill University, both with a concentration in development studies. Her research interests include comparative federalism and decentralization, social policy (in particular social housing), and state-society relations. 


Moises Costa is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science, focusing on Comparative Politics and International Relations. His primary research aims at understanding the relationship between economic growth and social development, with a particular focus on Brazil. Other research interests include regionalism, governance, and the automotive sector. He holds a BA in Political Science from Brigham Young University (BYU) and an MPA from the Romney Institute of Public Management, also at BYU. Prior to coming to Brown, he was the managing executive responsible for international government relations at Volkswagen Trucks and Buses and MAN Latin America in Brazil.

Diego Diaz is a 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. 

Rachel Meade is a PhD candidate in political science studying comparative populism with a focus on Latin America and the United States. Her research focuses on the use of populist discourse by politicians, parties, party supporters, and social movement activists. She earned a BA in history and Latin American Studies from Bard College in 2010. Rachel is currently a fellow with the Watson Institute Graduate Program in Development, which funded her two summers of preliminary research in Argentina (2014 and 2015). Currently, she is conducting research on party society relations in Argentina and the United States with Brown sociologist Jose Itzigsohn.