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Daniela Tatiana Barba-Sánchez

Ph.D. candidate in political science, Princeton University

Residency: September 2018 – May 2019

Research Project: State Neutrality and the Fight Against Crime as a Political Opportunity: The Case of Mexico

Research Interests: government accountability; political violence; human rights; civil-military relations; transitional justice; regime politics; political inequality; corruption


Daniela Barba-Sánchez is a Ph.D. candidate in politics and social policy at Princeton University, with a specialization in comparative politics. Her dissertation research explores how the fight against organized crime could be a political opportunity for authoritarian reversal. The research looks at the trends followed by state violence, in particular torture, sexual violence and violence against journalists, in response to different forms of local electoral competition and the presence of extractive resources – economic and political factors that may affect the interests of regional and national actors contending for power.

Daniela relies on a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. Historical and anthropological literature, as well as interviews with human rights advocates, security experts and state authorities at different levels and branches of the government, feed into the design and interpretation of the statistical analysis of human rights complaints-based data and of an original survey. In addition to measuring political and social capital variables, this survey identifies, through survey experiments that protect the anonymity of the respondents, the experience and propensity to report human rights violations. The dissertation project has been possible thanks to the generous support from the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice, the Program in Latin American Studies and the Institute for International and Regional Studies at Princeton University.