Tropical Parthenon

Promoting democracy in Latin America

En Conexión

Interview with César Miguel Rondón


Legal Responses to Covid-19 in Latin American & the Caribbean


Magazuelans: How Venezuelan Americans Embraced Trump as Their Savior

El Intertexto

Temporada 4 – Episodio 1


Democratic backsliding and autocratization


Politóloga explica por qué la amenaza del autoritarismo en el mundo es real

Caracas Chronicles

Bukele and Venezuela’s Obsession With Strongmen

Caracas Chronicles

Our Opposition’s Uncomfortable Silence About Colombia

Maria Isabel Puerta Riera

I am currently an adjunct professor and incoming (August 2021) Visitor Professor of Political Science, teaching U.S. Government, State, and Local Government, and International Politics at Valencia College; and a Part-Time Instructor of Sociology at Ana G. Méndez University.

I am a Research Fellow at GAPAC, currently working on Sharp Power in Latin America, and the effects of authoritarianism on exiled communities.

I was Associate Professor of Political Science at Universidad de Carabobo where I taught for 18 years, chaired Public Management, and coordinated the Research Group on Politics and Institutions.

This initiative is an effort at identifying democracy promotion efforts around the region, amplifying individuals and organizations involved with the issue. As a pilot project, I will share those experiences worth supporting or getting involved with, in our interest to promote democracy in Latin America.


Research Fellow (2020), currently working on Sharp Power in Latin America, and the effects of authoritarianism on exiled communities.

Country Expert (evaluating Venezuela and Colombia) for the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) research collaboration initiative that conceptualizes and
measures democracy around the world, gathering more than 3,200 country experts in one of the largest social science data collection projects on democracy.

Research Group Project: Democracy and institutional change in Venezuela. Research Institute “Manuel Pocaterra Jimenez” (INFACES) – Research Group on Policy and Institutions (GIPI), 2013.

Research Projects

Research Project Grant: Public Management in Community Management: an approach to people power. Research Institute ” Manuel Pocaterra Jiménez” (INFACES), College of Economics and Social Sciences, 2011.

Research Assistant. Country Coordinator. Varieties of Democracy Project, University of Notre Dame and University of Gothenburg. 04/30/2012- 03/30/2013.

Research Fieldwork Coordinator: The relation between State and Society regarding federal entities and municipalities under Venezuelan decentralization. No. S1-2001000731. 09/16/04 to 11/30/05. Universidad Central de Venezuela – CENDES – FONACIT.

Member of the Community Service Project: Agenda for Peace building. Ascribed to the Cultural and Organizational Studies Research Group (GIECO) College of Economics and Social Sciences of the Universidad de Carabobo. 2014.


Title: The de-democratization of Latin America’s democratic showcase: from a democratic chavismo to an autocratic post-chavismo. LASA 2021 Virtual Conference 05/28/2021. Role: Presenter.

Title: Effectiveness of sanctions as a strategy for regime change in American foreign policy: Case of Venezuela. MPSA 2021 Virtual Annual Conference. Date: 04/17/2021. Role: Presenter.

Title: Democratic Backsliding Across Region and Across Time. MPSA 2021 Virtual Annual Conference. Date: 04/16/2021. Role: Discussant

Title: Our Future in Our Hands: How to Handle the Gig Academe. Roundtable at Virtual 116th APSA Annual Meeting “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.” Date: 09/11/2020 Virtual Conference. Role: Presenter.

Title: “Autocratization and democratic backsliding during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nicaragua and Venezuela”.  European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). Date: 08/25/2020 Virtual Conference. Role: Presenter.

Title: “Democracy decline in Latin America: from promotion to stagnation. How the weakening of democracy building efforts has thwarted consolidation in the region”. Latin American Studies Association (LASA). Date: 05/25/2019 Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Role: Presenter.

Title: “Democracy decline, multiculturalism, and global immigration crisis: challenges of the post-democratic age”. Southwestern Social Science Association. Date: 10/12/2018 Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.

Title: “A weak democracy in transition to military authoritarianism in Venezuela”. Midwest Association for Latin American Studies (MALAS) – Webster University – Gateway Campus. Date: 10/21/2017 St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. Role: Presenter.

Title: “Cuba and Venezuela: between the democratic transition and the authoritarian drift”. Latin American Studies Association (LASA). Date: 05/30/2016 New York, U.S.A. Role: Presenter.

Title: “Assessment of the Basic Principles of Democracy in the spaces for democratic participation in Venezuela.” XXXIII International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). Date: 05/27-30/2015 San Juan, Puerto Rico. Role: Presenter.



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