CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Dr. Gabriel Hetland Speaks on Participatory Democracy

On September 20, 2017, political sociologist Dr. Gabriel Hetland (SUNY Albany) presented his research on urban participatory governance in Latin America.

While conducting his research, Dr. Hetland spent 22 months over nearly 10 years in four different communities – two in Venezuela and two in Bolivia – in order to study the effectiveness of participatory democracy in different political contexts. The cities where Dr. Hetland carried out his research were governed by both right-wing and left-wing political parties and located in countries with very different relationships between civil society and the state.

Dr. Hetland found that, contrary to popular belief, Venezuela’s top-down, state-led approach to participatory governance actually appeared to be more successful in translating citizens’ opinions into public policies than the bottom-up, grassroots approach taken in Bolivia. Another major finding was that, despite the association of participatory governance with left-wing political parties, center-right and right-wing governments can also foster effective popular participation under the right circumstances.

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CIPR talk series Critical Issues in Democratic Governance to host political economist Dr. Katrina Burgess

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Join the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies in welcoming Dr. Katrina Burgess as part of the fall speaker series Critical Issues in Democratic Governance, on Friday, November 16, in 110A Jones Hall. Dr. Burgess will give a talk titled Courting Migrants: How States Make Diasporas and Diasporas Make States.

The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to cipr@tulane.edu.

Katrina Burgess (Ph.D., Princeton University) is Associate Professor of Political Economy of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She is author of Parties and Unions in the New Global Economy, which won the 2006 Outstanding Book Award for the best publication on labor issues granted by the Section on Labor Studies and Class Relations of the Latin American Studies Association, and co-editor with Abraham F. Lowenthal of The California-Mexico Connection. She has also published numerous book chapters, as well as articles in World Politics, Latin American Politics & Society, Studies in Comparative International Development, South European Politics and Society, Comparative Political Studies, Politica y gobierno, and International Studies Review. Dr. Burgess has also served as Assistant Director of the U.S.-Mexico Project at the Overseas Development Council in Washington, D.C. and Associate Director of the California-Mexico Project at USC in Los Angeles.

Patterns of migrant engagement in politics back home cannot be understood without examining the ways in which homeland states reach out to their migrants. Since states engaged in what can be called diaspora-making are unable to deploy many of the tools of rule within their borders, they are especially reliant on the cultivation of loyalty. The agents, motives, and loyalty-cultivation strategies of diaspora-making have important implications for whether homeland parties mobilize voters abroad, as demonstrated by the contrasts between Mexico and the Dominican Republic.