Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants


To increase the inclusion and democratic participation of ethnic minorities, some Latin American countries have implemented quotas in party lists, special districts, and have allowed and supported the creation of ethnic parties. However, as scholars we have spent insufficient attention about the operation and the opinions that members of these ethnic groups have about these institutions. This project aims to analyze the factors that lead members of an ethnic minority to decide between voting in an ethnic or in a territorial district. We aim to analyze whether the problems that have been highlighted about this type of political institutions affect the trust and participation of ethnic populations in these institutions. At the same time, this project studies the effects in terms of political representation and reduction of political inequalities between ethnic groups. The project focuses on Colombia where citizens can choose between participating in the ethnic or the territorial district for the lower chamber of Congress. We will conduct a public opinion survey to approximately 1,000 Afro Colombians with a priming and a conjoint experiment. As a result, we could understand some of the micro-components of ethnic political participation in Latin America. The results will contribute to a better understanding of this type of inclusive policies and their effects on democratic anxieties and the lack of substantial representation of ethnic minorities in Latin American politics.

Principal Investigators

Cristina Echeverri-Pineda

Assistant Professor, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

Cristina Echeverri-Pineda is a historian and has a Ph.D. in Political Sciences. Currently, she is an assistant professor of political science at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia. Echeverri-Pineda has expertise in state formation, social movements, and democracy in Latin America, and her research has focused on Afro-descendant social movements from a comparative perspective. She has publications on constitutional recognition and international norms for afro-descendants in the Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies and Colombia Internacional journals. She has also published book chapters about ethnic political participation and representation in Latin America, and about local politics and participatory budgeting.

Mateo Villamizar-Chaparro

PhD student, Duke University

Mateo Villamizar-Chaparro is a PhD candidate in Duke University’s department of Political Science. Previously, he completed a master’s in International Affairs (UC-San Diego) and another in Political Science (Universidad de los Andes). He is a research associate at DevLab@Duke and one of the organizers of the Duke/UNC Latin American Working Group. His research interests include analyzing migration, the politics of public goods distribution, and political representation in developing countries.