About

My name is Isabel Laterzo (she/her) and I am a Political Science PhD Candidate studying Comparative Politics and Quantitative Methodology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am currently a Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellow in Brazil. 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), largely focusing on Latin America. In my dissertation, I analyze the ways in which politicians campaign on public security, and how they address crime and violence when in office. For this project, I leverage both computational social science techniques and qualitative fieldwork. From May-December 2022 I am based in Brazil, where I am conducting expert interviews and observing the 2022 elections. During this time, I will be a visiting researcher at three universities: the Fundação Getulio Vargas Foundation (Rio de Janeiro), the Federal University of Bahia, and the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

Some of my other research explores youth crime in Mexico and underreporting of crimes in Chile. In addition, complementary work examines elite cues, partisanship, and political behavior in Latin America as it relates to COVID-19. My work has been published in 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 UNC’s Institute for the Study of the Americas, the Brazilian Studies Association, the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and the U.S. Department of Education. I am also the co-founder and an organizer of the Violence, Instability, and Peace (VIP) Workshop.