Benjamin Garcia Holgado
Fields of Study: Comparative Politics, International Relations, Methodology
Areas of Interest: political regimes, populism, judicial politics, Latin American politics, qualitative methods
I am a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, a PhD Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and Graduate Associate in Learning Research at the Kaneb Center for Teaching Excellence. I am also honored to be the recipient of a Notre Dame Presidential Fellowship.
My research agenda focuses on regime change, populism, judicial politics, and qualitative methods. More specifically, I am interested in (1) conceptualizing contemporary processes of democratic erosion, (2) explaining the strategies populist leaders use to dismantle democracy, (3) showing what strategies political parties, civil society actors, and judges can implement to stop executive encroachment, and (4) case study methodology and qualitative data-gathering techniques. My dissertation investigates how the sequence and timing of populists’ attacks against democratic institutions contribute to explaining the extent of democratic erosion. By comparing Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, and Argentina and using multiple primary and secondary sources, I show that populist leaders in control of the executive can erode liberal democracy’s components when they begin to either co-opt or neutralize apex-courts early on.
I hold a BA in Political Science (Universidad de San Andrés) and an MA in Political Science (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella). Before coming to Notre Dame, I taught at different universities in Buenos Aires (2011-2017), and I gained research experience as well as financial support from Argentina’s Ministry of Science and Technology (2012-2017).