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Research Team

Herbert Kitschelt
Principal Investigator

Herbert Kitschelt is George V. Allen Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at Duke University. He has conducted research on parties and party competition in established Western democracies, Postcommunist Eastern Europe, and Latin America, documented in numerous books and articles.

Kerem Yildirim
Research Associate

Kerem Yildirim is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Kadir Has University. His research aims to explain party-voter linkages and clientelism, party competition and public opinion, redistribution, and political communication.


Mateo Villamizar Chaparro
PhD Student

Mateo Villamizar Chaparro is a PhD student in political economy at Duke’s department of Political Science. His research interests include analyzing the politics of public goods distribution and the transformation of linkage mechanisms and clientelism after migration and violence in developing country contexts.


Songkhun (Sunny) Nillasithanukroh
PhD Student

Songkhun (Sunny) Nillasithanukroh is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Duke University. His research interests include the relationship between business and politics. Specifically, he looks at how businessperson politicians utilize resources from their firms clientelistically during and between elections.

Darren Janz
Undergraduate Student

Darren Janz is an undergraduate student in the Department of Political Science at Duke University. His research interests include comparative democratization, citizen-elite linkages, administrative geography, multilevel governance, electoral geography, ethnofederalism, party competition, and political behavior.



Political Parties in Africa Project Team

Sub-Saharan Africa

The Political Parties in Africa (PPA) project is based at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and is the regional partner for Sub-Saharan Africa. As part of its broader mission, the PPA seeks to improve the quality of information about political parties that is available to citizens, policy makers and the academic community. The PPA achieves this by collecting data, developing online resources, providing analysis, and partnering with organizations and researchers around the world.

PPA Team Steering Committee Members

Matthias Krönke: Is a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town, and a researcher at the Afrobarometer Analysis Unit. His research interests include political parties, judicial politics, state bureaucracies, and democratic accountability.

[email:; website: Matthias Krönke (]

Sarah Lockwood: Is an Assistant Professor at the University of Cambridge and a research affiliate at the Institute for Democracy, Citizenship and Public Policy in Africa at the University of Cape Town. Her research interests include protest brokers, social movements, political parties and democratic accountability.

[email:; website: Sarah J. Lockwood (]

Robert Mattes: is a Professor at the University of Strathclyde and Honorary Professor in the Institute for Democracy, Citizenship and Public Policy in Africa at the University of Cape Town. He is also a co-founder of and Senior Advisor to Afrobarometer. His research focusses on the intersection of public opinion, political institutions and democratization in Africa.

[email:; website: mattes bob professor | University of Strathclyde]

Jeremy Seekings: Is Director of the Centre for Social Science Research, and Professor of Political Studies and Sociology at the University of Cape Town. His research interests focus on (a) public policy with an emphasis on poverty reduction and social protection and (b) political parties, elections and voting. He has a strong interest in the combination of quantitative and qualitative research.

[email:; website: Prof Jeremy Seekings | Centre for Social Science Research (]

Melina Altamirano

Melina Altamirano is an Assistant Professor at the Center for International Studies at El Colegio de México (Colmex) in Mexico City. Her research explores the political implications of economic vulnerability and overlapping social inequalities, the political economy of social protection, and the sources of public support for social policy in Latin America.

Siripan Nogsuan

Siripan Nogsuan Sawasdee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Siripan received a Master Degree in Comparative Politics from the Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from Kyoto University. Her research interests embrace comparative political parties and electoral systems, institutional design, Thai politics, and civic education. Her publications in English include “Electoral Integrity and the Repercussions of the Institutional Manipulations: The 2019 General Election in Thailand” ; The Conundrum of a Dominant Party in Thailand”; “Political Parties in Thailand” (In Jean Blondel and Takashi Inoguchi (eds.). Political Parties and Democracy: Contemporary Western Europe and Asia; Thai Political Parties in the Age of Reform. Her research won an award from the National Research Council of Thailand for the Excellent Research of the year in 2015 and 2019.

Luis Fernándo Mack Echeverría

I am a sociologist, with studies in Political Science. I work as a university teacher, but I also develop an intense activity with a diversity of civil society actors who seek training in issues of citizenship such as democracy, elections, political parties, and civic participation, among others. In the media, I am a columnist for a digital newspaper (Plaza Pública) and an analyst on issues of political conjuncture.

Vinicius Silva Alves

Vinícius Silva Alves holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Brasilia (UnB), with a Visiting Graduate Student stay at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Currently, he is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), serving as Assistant Editor for the Brazilian journal Teoria & Pesquisa. His research, funded by The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), relies on contemporary challenges linking party membership and intraparty democracy and party systems in a comparative perspective. Email:

Personal website:


Jennifer Cyr is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her research explores political representation and political identity in the Andean Region and the Southern Cone. She also writes about qualitative and mixed methods in the social sciences.



Gerardo Scherlis is a Professor at the University of Buenos Aires and a research fellow at the National Council of Scientific Research of Argentina. His research focuses on the organization and regulation of Latin American political parties.



Carlos Varetto is a Professor at the University of Saint Martin and a research fellow at the National Council of Scientific Research of Argentina. His research focuses on political parties and electoral systems with special emphasis on subnational and multilevel politics.

Meredith Weiss

Meredith Weiss is Professor of Political Science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Her research focuses on issues of electoral politics and parties, social mobilization and civil society, institutional reform, the politics of identity and development, and subnational governance in Southeast Asia.



Niloufer A. Siddiqui

Niloufer Siddiqui is Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Her research focuses on political parties, political violence, the politics of religion and ethnicity, voters and foreign policy, and the politics of South Asia.

Personal website:

Ward Berenschot

Ward Berenschot is a professor of comparative political anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and a senior researcher at KITLV. Studying politics in India and Indonesia, his research focuses on clientelism, citizenship and governance.


Maria Teresa Zegada Claure

Sociologist with a Master’s in Political Science (CESU-UMSS). She holds a doctorate in Social and Political Processes in Latin America (PROSPAL) at the University of Art and Social Sciences (U-ARCIS, Chile). She is a researcher at the Center for the Study of Economic and Social Reality (CERES). Professor in undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Universidad Mayor de San (UMSS); in Communication from the Bolivian Catholic University (UCB); at the Bolivian Private University and at CIDES-UMSA. Various books and articles on politics, democracy, social movements, political parties and conflicts in magazines and books specialized in social and political sciences. Researcher and consultant in national and international organizations.


Rodrigo Barrenechea

I am an Assistant Professor at the Departamento de Ciencias Sociales of the Universidad Católica del Uruguay. I hold a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University and a B.A. in Sociology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. In the 2019-2020 academic year, I was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Weatherhead Center Research Cluster on Challenges to Democracy, at Harvard University. My research focuses on populism, political parties, and political representation in Latin America.


Nabila Idris

Dr Nabila Idris holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge where she studied the politics of social protection policymaking. Her research focus lies at the intersection between development studies and political sociology. She is an adjunct faculty at a university in Bangladesh as well as a visiting fellow at the Open University in the UK. She has previously worked in Bangladesh, Thailand, China, and the UK.

Fodé Sarr

Fodé Sarr is an independent consultant who collaborates with lecturers & researchers from US universities and national & international organizations. His consultancy works have focused on education in emergencies, political clientelism, political accountability, violent extremism, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, Senegal’s private sector, land ownership, digital financial services, etc. He has worked in Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo/DRC, Cameroon, Mauritania, and Gambia.


Rahul Verma

Rahul Verma is a Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR). He is also Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, Ashoka University. His research interests include voting behavior, party politics, political violence, and media. He is a regular columnist for various news platforms and has published papers in Asian Survey, Economic & Political Weekly, and Studies in Indian Politics. His book co-authored with Pradeep Chhibber, Ideology and Identity: The Changing Party Systems of India (OUP: New York, 2018) develops a new approach to defining the contours of what constitutes an ideology in multi-ethnic countries such as India. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley, US. His doctoral dissertation examines why some political families flourish, and others decline quickly. He completed his MPhil in Political Science from Delhi University, MA in Development Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, and BA from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University.


Ronald D. Holmes
The Philippines 

Ronald D. Holmes is professor of political science and development studies at De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines.  He is also the president of the independent research organization, Pulse Asia Research Inc.  His research focuses on public opinion, comparative politics of Southeast Asia, and distributive politics/public finance.


Vanessa Beltràn Conejo
Costa Rica

Vanessa Beltrán Conejo is a Political Scientist from the University of Costa Rica,  with a Master’s  on Gender Studies and Development from FLACSO-Ecuador. Her research focuses on political identities, public opinion and discourse analysis from an interdisciplinary approach. She also explores the political dimension of State´s violence towards women in carceral contexts in Costa Rica and Central America.


Federica Sànchez

Federica Sánchez is an Assistant Professor at the Departamento de Política y Gobierno, Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Chile. Her research explores political participation and voting behavior in Chile and Latin America with a particular focus on electoral abstention and the implications of decreasing turnout for developing political systems and democracy.

Ana Belén Benito Sánchez
Dominican Republic

Ana Belén Benito Sánchez is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). She holds a PhD. in Political Science from University of Salamanca (USAL), M.S in Public Administration (UPR) and Latin American Studies (USAL), and a B.A in Law (USAL). Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Center for Political and Constitutional Studies (CEPC). Her research focuses on Latin American party systems, determinants of clientelism and corruption, and the role of parliamentary and ministerial elites. She is a member of the Women of Legislative Studies Group and country expert for the Dominican Republic at Varieties of Democracy Project.


Camilo Filártiga-Callizo

Camilo Filártiga-Callizo is Director of the Public Policy Department and Professor of Political Parties at the Universidad Católica de Asunción in Paraguay. Programme Officer in Electoral Processes at IDEA Internacional. His research explores the political parties organization, political parties system, electoral processes and constitutional issues.



Paolo Moncagatta is Associate Professor of Political Science at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, in Quito, Ecuador, where he also serves as Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. His research interests include democratization, citizen attitudes toward democracy, and political polarization in Latin America.
Leyre Melchiade is an undergraduate student of International Relations at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador.  She has been vice president and founding member of the Political Science and International Relations Student’s Society at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. She is interested in gender studies, political culture, and political sociology.

Damion Blake

Dr. Damion Blake is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Policy Studies at Elon University. Blake holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA.) and a Master of Science (MSc.) from the University of the West Indies (UWI)Mona campus, Jamaica. He has a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Political Theory and Governance Studies. He is a Drugs, Security and Democracy research fellow (2011-2012) with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the Open Society Foundation. Dr. Blake served as a consultant with the Jamaican government’s Ministry of National Security violence prevention program.

Blake also provides expert country reports, analysis and affidavits to legal firms (in the US and UK) on immigration matters related to Jamaicans & other Caribbean nationals in deportation proceedings.

Blake’s research areas are: Politics, gangs, organized crime and Urban violence in Jamaica and the Anglo-Caribbean.

Click for DALP I Research Team Members

Sejung Ahn
Rep. of Korea

Sejung is from the Republic of Korea. She is interested in welfare state politics.
Country: Republic of Korea

Christina Corduneanu-Huci

Cristina is originally from Romania where she was trained in economics and international political economy. Her research interests include democratic consolidation, state capacity, political economy of developing countries and interest mobilization under different regime types.
Countries: Belgium, France, Italy, Moldova, Romania, Senegal

Marco Antonio Fernandez

Marco Fernandez worked in the Mexican senate prior to grad school and was a guest lecturer at ITAM in Mexico City.  His dissertation focused on the political determinants of education spending and its allocation among the different education levels in Mexico. During 2008 he worked in the Policy Analysis Unit of the Mexican Presidency.
Countries: Spain and Philippines

Kent Freeze

Kent comes from Alberta, Canada. He has substantive interests in Chinese politics and the political economy of developing countries.
Country: Canada

Kiril Kolev

Kiril Kolev iis originally from Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics from Whittier College in Whittier, CA. His research interests focus on the effect of multinational organizations on domestic politics. In this project, he is responsible for website design, data management and online support, in addition to being a country manager.
Countries: Australia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom

Dan Kselman
United States

Dan specializes in comparative politics and formal theoretic methodology. His dissertation addressed patterns of political party competition in Turkey and the broader Middle East.

Damon Palmer
United States

Damon Palmer is originally from New Mexico in the southwestern United States, but has had a peripatetic background, living at different points of his life in Bangladesh, California, London, and New York city. He is interested in the political economy of liberalization and globalization and in political parties and party systems.
Countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Jan Pierskalla

Jan’s fields of Interest include Comparative and International Political Economy and Methods.
Country: Mauritius

Sinziana Popa

Sinziana Popa received a M.A. in Economics at Duke University and a B.A. degree from the American University in Bulgaria. Her dissertation research analyzed national policies governing the operations of foreign companies in transition economies.
Countries: Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, and Kenya.

Philipp Rehm

Philipp Rehm holds a Master’s degree from the University of Tuebingen in Germany. His research interests include political economy and political behavior. Philipp’s dissertation explored the determinants of social policy preference and the interaction of citizen preferences and social policy making.
Countries: Austria, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Switzerland.

Gustavo Rodriguez
Costa Rica

Gustavo was born and raised in San José, Costa Rica. He majored in Economics and worked in strategy and product development for two U.S. companies conducting business in Latin America before earning an MBA and an MA in International Relations at Yale University. In the last five years prior to coming to Duke, he was on Wall Street where he worked at the New York Stock Exchange in the International Department, developing sales pitches to non-U.S. companies that were seeking to “go public” on the world’s largest stock market. In this position, he worked primarily with Latin American corporations. These transactions led to a deeper interest in the joint politics of democratization and privatization in developing countries, as well as the mechanics of market-based reform and international trade agreements. Gustavo’s home region of Central America is undergoing just one such variety of commercial and political reorganization under the CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement).  At Duke he was a student of the comparative political economy of development and trade.

Arturas Rozenas

Arturas is interested in comparative politics and political methodology.
Countries: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Mattew Singer
United States

Matthew Singer (PhD, Duke) is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Connecticut. His work primarily focuses on electoral behavior and public opinion with an emphasis on questions of electoral accountability and economic voting. He has done fieldwork in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, and Peru and his work has been published in Electoral Studies, Comparative Political Studies, and the Development Policy Review.
Countries: Denmark and Norway, Latin America (supporting Juan Luna and David Altman).

Lenka Siroky
Czech Republic

Lenka is originally from Prague, the Czech Republic, where she was trained in political sociology. After that, she lived and studied in Budapest, Chicago and Boston before coming to Duke. She is interested in democratic consolidation in formerly communist countries. Her dissertation was about radical right parties and populism in Eastern Europe.
Countries: Albania, Czech Rep., Israel, Mozambique, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine.

Yi-ting Wang

Yi-ting is from Taiwan. She is primarily interested in political participation and political culture.
Countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, and Taiwan.