Miguel Centellas joined the Croft Institute in the fall of 2009 as Croft Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, with a focus on Latin American politics. He received his PhD in political science from Western Michigan University in 2007 and previously taught at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania (2006-2008) and Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland (2008-2009).
His research on political institutions in new democracies has focused on Bolivia, but includes a broader comparative interest in new democracies in Latin America and Postcommunist Europe. His research looks at how democratization reshapes political imaginaries and how formal institutions (particularly electoral systems and party systems) channel those processes.
Dr. Centellas has conducted extensive fieldwork in Bolivia (where he was a Fulbright Scholar) and is co-director of the joint University of Mississippi and Universidad Católica de Bolivia social science field school in La Paz.
Currently, Dr. Centellas is concluding data collection as part of a multi-year cross-regional project on the effects of electoral systems on candidate selection and success in Latin America, Europe, and Asia funded by the National Science Foundation. He is also working on a project on empirically measuring democratic competitiveness in Latin America and Postcommunist Europe.
An interdisciplinary seminar on populism in Latin America. Drawing from the disciplines of history, sociology, and political science, we will focus on historical and contemporary cases of populism in Latin America - and the difficulties defining "populism" conceptually. Cases include: Juan and Eva Perón (Argentina), Getúlio Vargas (Brazil), José María Velasco Ibarra (Ecuador), Alberto Fujimori (Peru), Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), and Evo Morales (Bolivia).