Electoral Management, Partisan Strategic Interaction, and Civic Engagement: Lessons from Latin America and Africa


Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 12:00pm


CGIS South, S250, 1730 Cambridge Street

Speaker: Alejandro Trelles, Assistant Professor of Politics, Brandeis University

Moderator: Frances Hagopian, Jorge Paulo Lemann Senior Lecturer on Government

This talk focuses on the formal and informal aspects of electoral autonomy in Latin America and Africa, how political parties interact within electoral management boards, and mechanisms that facilitate the civic engagement and transparency. Drawing on examples from Venezuela, Mexico, Ghana, and Kenya, the talk centres around the concepts of autonomy, the adoption of internal consultation mechanisms, and mapping technology for electoral boundary delimitation (redistricting).

Alejandro Trelles is an Assistant Professor of Politics at Brandeis University. He holds a Ph.D. and a MA in political science from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA from ITAM in Mexico City. His research interests are elections, electoral management, political parties, redistricting, and representation. His most recent work focuses on the formal and informal aspects of electoral autonomy in Latin America and Africa, and the effect that electoral autonomy has for democratic stability and consolidation. He has fieldwork experience in Venezuela, Mexico, Ghana, Kenya, and Egypt. He is co-author of two political analysis books: Anatomy of the PRI (Random House, 2006) and AMLO: Political and Personal History of the Head of Government of Mexico City (Random House, 2004). He has more than fifteen years of experience working on elections and electoral management in a comparative perspective. He has worked as an independent consultant in electoral organization and constituency boundary delimitation for the Organization of American States and he is also a co-principal investigator in the Public Mapping Project Mexico (PMP). He has worked closely with Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE, formerly IFE) in the last decade and during the last three rounds of redistricting in the country. His research has received support from the Electoral Integrity Project in Venezuela, the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) and the African Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as support from the Norman and Tomberg Funds at Brandeis University. His work has been published in Political Geography, Electoral Studies, Latin American Politics and Society, Journal of Politics in Latin America, and Política y Gobierno.

The Tuesday Seminar Series is a bring your own brown bag lunch series. Please feel free to enjoy your lunch at the lecture, drinks will be provided.