Creative Construction: The Rise and Corruption of Infrastructure Projects in Latin America


Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 12:00pm to 2:00pm


CGIS South, S250, 1730 Cambridge Street

Speaker: Alisha Holland, Assistant Professor in the Politics Department, Princeton University

Moderator: Steven Levitsky, Professor of Government, Harvard University


Latin America long has been considered a laggard in infrastructure provision, lacking the roads, metros, and dams to accelerate growth and improve social welfare. This trend somewhat reversed in the 2000s as many governments invested commodity revenues in public works. This talk explores the politics of infrastructure investments and the role of construction firms, planning institutions, and parties in shaping what got built and at what economic and political cost.

Alisha Holland is Assistant Professor in the Politics Department at Princeton University. Her first book, Forbearance as Redistribution: The Politics of Informal Welfare in Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2017) examines the politics of enforcement of laws that the poor tend to violate, such as squatting, street vending, and electricity theft. Her research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, American Review of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, and Latin American Research Review.