Elections and Democracy in Latin America: 2009–2010


Location: Hesburgh Center, Room C103

Manuel Alcantara, professor of political science in Department of Public Law, University of Salamanca; Kellogg Institute Visiting Fellow, University of Notre Dame

Manuel Alcántara (Ph.D., Universidad Complutense de Madrid), professor of political science at the University of Salamanca, returns to the Kellogg Institute as a visiting fellow for the spring semester. In ongoing research on Latin American politicians, he will explore “Quality and Professionalization of Politicians in Latin America.”

Examining representatives at the national level in 17 countries of the region, Alcántara is analyzing politicians across four dimensions: their competence, leadership, integrity, and empathy; their degree of professionalism; their various functions, from formal and legislative roles to campaigning for reelection; and citizen evaluation of their performance. In his study, he will draw upon the Parliamentary Elites in Latin America (PELA) database, built from personal interviews with deputies (1994–2010).

The former director of the Latin American Institute at the University of Salamanca, where he has also served as vice chancellor of international relations, Alcántara received an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Nacional de San Martin in Buenos Aires in 2008 and the Bernardo O’Higgins Order of Merit, Chile’s highest honor for foreign citizens, in January 2010. He has published extensively on political parties, legislative power, governability, and electoral issues and was a Kellogg visiting fellow in 2000 and 2007.