Meet Mariana Carvalho, 2020 APSA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grantee

The American Political Science Association is pleased to announce the Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (DDRIG) Awardees for 2020. The APSA DDRIG program provides support to enhance and improve the conduct of doctoral dissertation research in political science. Awards support basic research which is theoretically derived and empirically oriented.

Mariana Carvalho, University of California, San Diego

Mariana Carvalho is a PhD candidate in Political Science at University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on political economy and violence. Her dissertation investigates the causes and consequences of assassinations of local politicians, with a central focus on Brazil. She draws from models of contest and war to explain why assassinations happen as a consequence of disputes for spoils from the government.

Her project contributes to our understanding of criminal politics and political violence by emphasizing the relationship between corruption and violence against politicians. She employs a mixed-method approach to answer questions about the targets, perpetrators, causes, and consequences of political killings. Original data on political assassinations provide evidence on the characteristics of local politicians and the political and economic factors that explain spatial and geographical variation in executions.

Her other projects investigate the electoral cycle of violence, how the legacies of authoritarian regimes impact violence over time, and how to identify and deter corruption in the health sector. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Mariana obtained her undergraduate degree from Fundação Getulio Vargas, where she also obtained a Masters in Public Administration.