Latin America’s Changing Left: Red versus Green?


Tuesday, April 5, 2022, 12:00pm to 1:20pm

For a recording of this event, click here.

Speakers: Thea Riofrancos, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Providence College; Andrew Carnegie Fellow (2020-2022); Manuela Picq, Professor of International Relations at Universidad San Francisco de Quito & Senior Lecturer of Political Science at Amherst College; Marco Fernandez, Professor of Government, Tec de Monterrey
Moderated by: Steven Levitsky, Professor of Government, Harvard University; Director, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies

Marco Antonio Fernández is a research professor in the School of Government at Tec de Monterrey and a researcher associate at Mexico Evalúa. He specializes in political economy, particularly on education policy, decentralization, clientelism, transparency, corruption and the challenges of good governance. He received his B.A. in Political Science at ITAM, Mexico. He has a M.A. and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University. He was fellow at the Center for U.S. – Mexican Studies from 2010 to 2011. He has worked as a consultant for different international organizations, including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the OECD and the Economic Social Council from United Nations. He has worked as an adviser in the Mexican Congress and Senate, as well as has served as senior adviser for the Office of the President and for the Education Minister in Mexico. He is currently working on different research projects, including (1) the politics of education reform in Mexico, (2) the challenges of fiscal transparency in emerging economies and its role to curb the abuse of public budgets, and (3) an analysis of the institutions in charge of fighting corruption in Mexico.

Manuela Picq is a Professor of International Relations at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador) and Senior Lecturer in the Departments of Political Science and Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies at Amherst College (USA). She is the author of scholarly books and articles, including Vernacular Sovereignties: Indigenous Women Challenging World Politics (University of Arizona Press 2018) and contributes to international media outlets. Her work at the intersection of scholarship, journalism, and activism led her to be detained and expelled from Ecuador in 2015. She was nominated a New Generation of Public Intellectuals (2018) and featured in the FemiList 100 (2021) of women working in law, policy, and peacebuilding across the Global South. In 2021, she led the electoral campaign of presidential candidate Yaku Perez for the indigenous party Pachakutik in Ecuador


Thea Riofrancos is an Andrew Carnegie Fellow (2020-2022), an Associate Professor of Political Science at Providence College, and a member of the climate + community project. Her research focuses on resource extraction, renewable energy, climate change, green technology, social movements, and the left in Latin America. She is the author of Resource Radicals: From Petro-Nationalism to Post-Extractivism in Ecuador (Duke University Press, 2020), the coauthor of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal (Verso Books, 2019), and is currently writing Extraction: The Frontiers of Green Capitalism, for W.W. Norton. Her work has appeared in scholarly journals such as Perspectives on Politics and World Politics, as well as outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, The Guardian, n+1, Dissent, Jacobin and NACLA.

Steven Levitsky is the Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. As the David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of Government, his research focuses on democratization, authoritarianism, political parties, and weak and informal institutions. He is author (with Daniel Ziblatt) of How Democracies Die (Crown, 2018), a New York Times Best-Seller that has been published in 25 languages, Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War (with Lucan Way) (Cambridge, 2010), and Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America: Argentine Peronism in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge, 2003), and co-editor of Informal Institutions and Democracy in Latin America (with Gretchen Helmke) and The Resurgence of the Latin American Left (with Kenneth Roberts). He has written frequently for the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Vox, The New Republic, The Monkey Cage, La República (Peru) and Folha de São Paulo (Brazil). He is currently writing a book (with Lucan Way) on the durability of revolutionary regimes. Levitsky received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.

Presented in collaboration with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs