Faculty Bios

MARTÍN MENDOZA-BOTELHO (Ph.D. University of Cambridge)

Martín Mendoza-Botelho (Ph.D. University of Cambridge) is Assistant Professor at ECSU.  His primary field is political economy at the comparative level, with emphasis on developing countries and his region of origin Latin America. His research and teaching addressed comparative elements of political economy and democratization, with particular attention to institutions and social capital.

His geographical focus is his country of origin Bolivia, the Andean Region and Latin America in general, though his comparative interests extend to other developing countries.

Recently, he has published the article “Social Capital and Institutional Trust. Evidence from Bolivia’s Popular Participation decentralisation reforms” at the Journal of Development Studies and has several other articles and book chapters published on topics related to the quality of democracy in Bolivia.

Before joining ECSU, Professor Mendoza-Botelho taught for several years at Tulane University as Visiting Assistant Professor and was visiting scholar at the University of Michigan. He also serves as Academic Instructor for the Graduate School of Political Management at the George Washington University and he is affiliated with the Payson Center for Development Studies at Tulane. Prior his transition to academia, he served at several international organizations, including the Organization of American States (OAS), the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC) in Washington D.C. and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in Bolivia.

His current research agenda is related to the notion of the welfare state in Latin America under the reemergence of leftist ideology, and notions of institutional readjustment such as constitutional reforms, decentralization and populism.

Research Interests

Political economy, international relations, poverty reduction initiatives; decentralization and local development; regional and local fiscal management; inequality and economic growth; human and social development, processes of social and indigenous participation; political institutional transformation; democratization and citizenship; human rights; social capital and social policies.

Courses taught

PSC-208 Comparative Governments and Politics
This course studies Comparative Politics from a contemporary perspective and drawing from examples from around the world. Part of the course explores political theory and the way in which it becomes functional in different countries. This means studying not only the practical and procedural aspects of the political process, such as the notion of democracy and the structure and composition of governments, but also the global forces that shape the political world.

PSC-365 State Building in the Developing World
The notion of ‘modern state’ is relatively new, much more in the developing world. Whether glorified as a democratic entity responsible for sustainable growth or demonized as the source of conflict and repression, the state is the fundamental element of any organized society and/or national political system. This course discusses some of the most notorious state reforms in the developing world since the 1970s with particular emphasis on issues of political economy and democratization.

PSC-202 Quantitative Research Methods
Introductory course on quantitative social research methods, with emphasis on their practical use in Political Science. This course covers relevant elements of quantitative social research, from basic notions of social research to the use of quantitative indicators and their analytical interpretation through statistical techniques, including the use of the statistical software IBM SPSS.

PSC-365 Political Evolution of Latin America
This course covers the main structural political and economic changes in the region since WWII. The approach is interdisciplinary, using methods and theories drawn from politics, economics, sociology and history. In politics, the ‘Latin American state’ is observed through notions such as populism, bureaucratic authoritarianism and democratization and incorporating relevant notions of political economy in Latin America such as neo-liberalist and socialist reforms.

PSC-400 Political Inquiry Democratization
This seminar discusses democratic theory from a critical perspective using examples from around the Globe. The discussion is centered on the validity of traditional notions of democracy and the seemingly social transformation that is altering the way in which citizens interact with their states. The seminar makes particular emphasis on issues of democracy (representative and participatory), political, civic and social rights (individual and collective), the role of institutions and notions of identity and ethnicity (i.e. indigenous politics).

Other courses taught in the past

International and Political Economic Relations, IPER (600 level graduate seminar – Development Studies)

  • Economic Analysis (600 level graduate seminar – Development Studies)
  • Democratic Theory (600 seminar level)
  • Institutional and Social Analysis (600 level independent study)
  • Institutional Survey (400 level independent study)
  • Introduction to Politics (100 level)
  • Introduction to International Relations (100 level)
  • The Problematic of State Building in the Developing World (Comparative Politics – 300 Level)
  • Political Evolution in Latin America since World War II (Comparative Politics – 400 Level)
  • State Reforms in Latin America since the 1970s (Political Economy with notions of research methodology – Graduate Seminar – 600-700 level)
  • Democratic progress and emerging citizenship in Latin America (Democratic Theory – Graduate Seminar 600-700 level)
  • Citizen participation, Social Movements and Social Capital in Latin America (Social Theory with a Service Learning Component – 400 Level)
  • Andean Politics (Comparative Politics – 400 Level)

Curriculum Vitae

(Click here)

Contact Information

Webb Hall, Room 355
Email: mendozabotelhom@easternct.edu
Tel: (860) 465 -5257
Web site: http://easternct.academia.edu/MartinMendozaBotelho


CHRISTOPHER VASILLOPOLUS (Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley)

Professor Vasillopulos graduated magna cum laude from Hobart College and received his masters and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.  He has published articles in a wide variety of professional journals and presented papers at international conferences in Europe and the Middle East.  He has published The Political Theology of the Hitler Movement.

Contact Information

Webb Hall, Room 354
Email: vasillopuloc@easternct.edu
Tel: (860) 465 -4602