About Me

I currently work as Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lee University at Cleveland, TN, where I teach a variety of courses on International Relations and Comparative Politics.

I have received my Ph.D. in Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia (August 2013) with a dissertation entitled “Elites, Resources, and International Violence in South America,” under the guidance of Professor John M. Owen, IV. My dissertation provides a  comprehensive and nuanced explanation for Latin America’s “violent peace” and offers a unique contribution to the International Relations literature on the domestic determinants of international aggression. Regarding the initiation of foreign aggression absent threats to national security, my dissertation argues that, especially when mass politics is less important, domestic elites favor military aggression against neighboring countries not to divert the public from economic and political problems but instead as a means to appropriate domestic resources outside of their reach otherwise.

I received my Masters in International Relations from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (May 2005), with the thesis “Tales About Rwanda: A Critical Analysis of the Narratives About the Rwandan Genocide of 1994,” in which she discusses how narratives of Self and Other contributed as a justification for the genocide. My interest on international security dates back to my undergraduate studies at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, where she defended the Senior Thesis, “Domestic Conflict Resolution: Afghanistan” (June 2002).

My research interests are International Relations theory and International Security (broadly defined). I place a special focus on the domestic sources of war, enduring rivalries, and the militarization of interstate disputes. My region of expertise is Latin America and I am is especially interested in the influence and role of great powers in the region; the relationship between domestic political objectives and the use of military force abroad; and transnational security challenges such as drug- and human-trafficking.

In this website you will find my CV, links pertaining to my research interests, and selected current news and analyses on South America, from diverse sources.

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