CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Virginia Oliveros

Assistant Professor - Political Science

Contact Info

Department Affiliation
Political Science

Virginia Oliveros joined the Political Science Department at Tulane University as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2013.

She studies the political economy of developing countries, with a regional focus on Latin America. Her research interests include comparative political institutions, elections, and clientelism and patronage politics. Her current research focuses on one of the mechanisms that undermines the quality of democratic politics in developing countries – the political use of public employment. She is currently working on a book manuscript on this topic.

In May 2013, she received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University. She received her BA from Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the 2012-2013 academic year, she was a Visiting Scholar in the Research Department at the Inter-American Development Bank.

  • B.A., Universidad de Buenos Aires, Political Science, 2001
  • M.A., Columbia University, Political Science, 2006
  • M.Phil., Columbia University, Political Science, 2008
  • Ph.D., Columbia University, Political Science, 2013
Academic Experience
  • Assistant Professor, Tulane University, 2013-
  • Associate Research Fellow, Center for Inter-American Policy and Research, Tulane University, 2013-
  • Visiting Scholar, Yale University, 2016-2017
  • Preceptor, Columbia University, 2012
  • Teaching Assistant, Columbia University, 2007-2011
  • Teaching Assistant, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 2001-2005

Research & Teaching Specializations: Political Economy of Development, Comparative Political Institutions, Elections, Clientelism and Patronage Politics

Related Experience
  • Organizer, Tulane Political Science Seminar, Department of Political Science, 2014-
  • Visiting Scholar, Inter-American Development Bank, 2012-2013
  • Junior Consultant/Research Assistant, United Nations for Development Program, 2001
  • Louisiana Artists and Scholars (ATLAS) Fellowship, Louisiana Board of Regents, 2016-2017
  • PhD Dissertation passed with distinction, Columbia University, 2013
  • Brooks World Poverty Institute Fellowship, University of Manchester, 2010
  • University Fellow, Columbia University, 2005-2012
  • Center for the Study of Development Strategies Summer Grant, Columbia University, 2011
  • Spanish
Overseas Experience
  • Argentina
Selected Publications
  • Forthcoming. “Merit, Tenure, and Bureaucratic Behavior: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment in the Dominican Republic.” With Christian Schuster. Comparative Political Studies.
  • 2016. “Corruption as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Costa Rica.” With Ana Corbacho, Daniel Gingerich, and Mauricio Ruiz Vega. American Journal of Political Science 60(4): 1077-1092.
  • 2016. “Making it Personal: Clientelism, Favors, and the Personalization of Public Administration in Argentina,” Comparative Politics 48(3): 373-391
  • 2011. “Economic Constraints and Presidential Agency.” With María Victoria Murillo and Milan Vaishnav. In The Resurgence of the Latin American Left. Steven Levitsky and Kenneth Roberts, eds. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
  • 2010. “Electoral Revolution or Democratic Alternation?” With María Victoria Murillo and Milan Vaishnav. Latin American Research Review 45 (3): 87-114.
  • 2008. “La Legislatura de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires. Un estudio sobre las relaciones Ejecutive-Legislative en el nuevo marco institucional (1997-2000).” With Fernanda Araujo. Revista SAAP 3 (2): 353-393.

Recently-Taught Latin American-Related Courses: POLC-6410: Latin American Politics

Full CV or Website
Curriculum Vitae



All Events

Upcoming Events

CIPR Fall Speaker Series

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Please join us Mondays at noon for our Fall speaker Series
Markets, the State, and Democracy in Latin America
October 14, October 21, November 11, and November 18.

In the 2019 fall series, Markets, the State, and Democracy in Latin America, speakers will discuss emerging issues that have surfaced as the result of the opportunities and challenges to democratic governance that markets have brought to the region. Latin America experienced a major influx of investment, particularly in the resource sector, over the past several decades. While this foreign investment helped hasten economic development, it also brought a backlash of resource nationalism and increased calls for redistribution. Moreover, Latin America is now a model in its own right, with other countries in the Global South adopting its state-sponsored development strategies in the resource sector. These presentations will also explore how Latin America is navigating a sea change in geopolitics, with China emerging as a challenger to the United States as the region’s main trade partner and ally.

For more information, check out our Fall Series Poster

Latin American Writers Series: Alberto Barrera Tyszka

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Ecuadorian writer and Tulane Visiting Scholar Gabriela Alemán interviews Venezuelan writer Alberto Barrera Tyszka about his life, interests, and influences. Their discussion will be followed by an open Q&A and an informal reception. This event will be held in Spanish.

About the Latin American Writers Series

This series brings together Latin America’s most representative creative voices and the editorial entrepreneurs that publish them. By way of interviews conducted by renowned Ecuadorian writer Gabriela Alemán and presentations of various editorial missions, the guests will shed light on a literary world shaped by the contemporary issues of the continent. Moving forward, their conversations will comprise the centerpiece of a digital archive that introduces their ideas to a global audience.

Este serie reúne a los autores más representativos de la escritura continental y los editores que los publican. A través de entrevistas con la reconocida escritora ecuatoriana Gabriela Alemán y presentaciones de proyectos editoriales, los invitados explorarán los vínculos entre el mundo literario y la realidad continental. Sus conversaciones se convertirán después en el eje de un archivo digital que busca llevar estas ideas a un público global.

About the Author

Born in Caracas, Alberto Barrera Tyszka has published over a dozen works of poetry, short story, chronicle, novel, and biography. His most recent publications include the novels Patria o Muerte (2015) and Rating (2011), the poetic anthology La inquietud (2013), the collection of chronicles Un país a la semana (2013), and the short story collection Crímenes (2009). In 2005, he collaborated with Cristina Marcano to write the definitive biography of Hugo Chávez, Hugo Chávez sin uniforme: una historia personal (2005). Patria o muerte won the 2015 Premio Tusquets de Novela, and his novel La enfermedad, translated into English as The Sickness (2010), received the 2006 Herralde Award. Barrera also writes for television and has scripted soap operas for Venezuelan, Mexican, Colombian, and Argentinian networks.