CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Meet CIPR's New Post-Doctoral Fellows

September 11th, 2017

Maria Akchurin is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Inter-American Policy & Research and a sociologist studying institutional politics and social movements relating to social and environmental policies in South America. Her research interests include political sociology, global/transnational sociology, comparative historical sociology, and environment and development.

Maria‘€™s current research follows two main lines of inquiry focusing on the political and social processes around the governance of water resources, using cases from Argentina and Chile. The first line of inquiry, based on her dissertation work, focuses on private and public sector approaches to the provision of urban water and sanitation services, as well as mobilization around access to water and sanitation in cities. The second traces the history of environmentalist and environmental justice organizations alongside socio-environmental conflicts between local communities and the mining, forestry, and hydropower industries in Chile.

Maria has also studied how alliances among different civil society groups, including environmentalists and indigenous organizations, influenced the introduction of nature as a new subject of legal rights in Ecuador. In addition to socio-environmental issues, her broader research agenda encompasses interests in women‘€™s activism, the relationship of contemporary labor movements to ‘€œnew‘€ social movements, and the impact of mobilization on policies affecting social welfare in a comparative context. Her work has been published in Law & Social Inquiry and the American Sociological Review.

At CIPR, Maria will be coordinating the research group on Mobilization, Extractivism, and Governmental Action, headed by Dr. Eduardo Silva.

Hector Bahamonde joined the Center for Inter-American Policy & Research as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the summer of 2017. After receiving his BA in Political Science from Catholic University of Chile in 2009, he moved to New Jersey in 2012 to begin his doctoral studies. He received his PhD in Political Science from Rutgers University (New Brunswick) in the spring of 2017.

Hector studies the political economy of Latin America. Particularly, his research explores the economic and political origins of state capacities as well as the political economy of institutional development and the role of inequality on democratic development. Methodologically, he uses historical analyses, quantitative methods and experimental designs.

Christopher Chambers-Ju received his PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017.

His research examines the politics of education through a focus on teachers‘€™ unions. Studying the cases of Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico, he examines why some teachers take to the streets while others form an organized voting bloc, with distinct relationships to political parties.

By focusing on teachers, Christopher seeks to shed light on broader dynamics of education policy-making and political change in contemporary Latin America.