Announcing the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grantees

The Social Science Research Council’s Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants respond to growing public concern about the efficacy of democratic institutions in the Americas in the face of rising inequality, the spread of populism, political polarization, distrust, and the spread of disinformation. Sponsored by the Drugs, Security and Democracy and Anxieties of Democracy programs and with the support of the Open Society Foundations, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Mark and Anla Cheng Kingdon Foundation, the grants fund research projects with the potential to generate a comparative dialogue on the sources of and solutions to democratic anxieties in the Americas.

The awarded projects touch on themes such as the politics of representation, from understanding voter participation in Colombia’s specialized ethnic congressional districts to the historical evolution of the Congressional Black Caucus in the United States. Others examine corruption, from the political biases of independent courts in Brazil to political intervention in Argentina’s judicial corruption probes. Collectively, these projects will offer new insights into the challenges and opportunities facing democracies, in the region and across the globe.

The following are recipients of the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants:


Political Polarization, Community Organizing, and Modes of Civic Engagement: How Changing Forms of Political Participation Facilitate Political Extremism among American Rightwing Libertarian Groups

Principal Investigator

Oded Marom

Doctoral Candidate, University of Southern California

University of Southern California

Chasing Consensus: Social Protest, Deliberation, and Digital Expressions of Democracy in Multicultural Peru

Principal Investigator

Adela Zhang

PhD Candidate, Stanford University

Stanford University

Becoming the State: How Civic Organizations are Recreating Democracy in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas

Principal Investigator

Anjuli Fahlberg

Assistant Professor, Tufts University

Tufts University

At the Edge of Authoritarianism: Democratic Disenchantment and Radical Optimism in Postwar El Salvador

Principal Investigator

Grazzia Grimaldi

PhD Candidate, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Legacies of Resistance: A Long-Range Approach to Indigenous Mobilization in the Andes

Principal Investigator

Karla Mundim

Doctoral Candidate, University of Florida

University of Florida

Courting Corruption: Judicial Politicization in Argentina in Comparative Perspective

Principal Investigators

Guadalupe Tuñón

Assistant Professor, Princeton University

Germán Feierherd

Assistant Professor, Universidad de San Andrés

Princeton University

When the Independent Courts Get Corrupt Candidates Away from Elections

Principal Investigator

Thiago do Fonseca

PhD Candidate, University of São Paulo

University of São Paulo

District Selection and Racial Identity: Determinants for Voting in the Colombian Congress’ Black District

Principal Investigators

Cristina Echeverri-Pineda

Assistant Professor, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

Mateo Villamizar-Chaparro

PhD Student, Duke University

Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

Political Gender Violence in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies

Principal Investigator

Tássia Rabelo de Pinho

Professor, Universidade Federal da Paraíba

Universidade Federal da Paraíba

Tracing Effects of Voter ID Laws on Immigrant Political Engagement

Principal Investigator

Hajar Yazdiha

Assistant Professor, University of Southern California

University of Southern California

Corrupting the Conscience: The Congressional Black Caucus and the Constraints of Black Politics

Principal Investigator

Christian Hosam

PhD Candidate, University of California, Berkeley

University of California - Berkeley

Collusion between Political Actors and Private Corporations: Challenges for Its Punishment and Reparation of Damage. A Comparative Study of Criminal Prosecution of the Odebrecht Case in Peru and Mexico

Principal Investigator

Mária de Lourdes Velasco Domínguez

Professor, Technological Institute of Monterrey

Technological Institute of Monterrey

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