My name is Isabel Laterzo and I am a Political Science PhD student studying Comparative Politics and Quantitative Methodology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I hold an M.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. in International Relations from Claremont McKenna College.
My research focuses primarily on the ways in which crime and violence influence political life. I am also interested in trust in institutions, primarily the police, and topics that bridge the connection between behavioral and institutional political science research. My research is largely based in Latin America with a focus on Chile, Mexico, and Brazil. I have completed field work and/or formal education in both Chile and Uruguay.
My current projects focus on the following: factors that influence citizen preferences for repressive security policies; improving methods for determining crime and crime underreporting rates; the subnational responses to COVID-19 in cases of limited federal action; and understanding factors that influence participation of youths and young adults in criminal organizations. My work is forthcoming in the Revista Latinoamericana de Opinión Pública. My research and studies thus far have been supported by UNC Chapel Hill’s Department of Political Science, UNC’s Institute for the Study of the Americas, the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA), the U.S. Department of State, and USAID.
Outside of my research, I am also passionate about educational access and equity. Currently, I am an academic mentor for students in prison, through UNC’s Correctional Education Program (CEP). Apart from this work, I spend most of my time outside with my dog or exploring the Research Triangle area by foot or bike.