My name is Isabel Laterzo (she/her) and I am a Political Science PhD Candidate studying Comparative Politics and Political Methodology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, I am affiliated with the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program. I hold an M.A. in Political Science from the same university and a B.A. in International Relations from Claremont McKenna College.

I research how crime and violence influence politics (and vice versa), with a focus on the Americas. To do so, I rely on a wide variety of methods, including text analysis, survey experiments, and qualitative fieldwork, among others. In my dissertation, I analyze the ways in which politicians campaign on public security and how they address crime and violence when in office. From May-December 2022, I was a Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellow in Brazil, where I conducted expert interviews and observed the 2022 elections.

My work is published or forthcoming in Comparative Political Studies, The Journal of Criminal Justice, The Journal of Politics in Latin America, and Revista Latinoamericana de Opinión Pública and covered in popular news outlets such as The Washington Post. My research and studies have been supported by the Brazilian Studies Association, the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and the Fulbright-Hays Program, among other organizations. I am also a co-founder and organizer of the Violence, Instability, and Peace (VIP) Workshop. Before my academic career, I worked in education consulting.