I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. My main area of research is Comparative Politics, with a regional emphasis in Latin America. I am particularly interested in issues of corruption and development, transparency and anti-corruption policies, state capacity and political autonomy, and electoral systems and political parties.

My dissertation, "When Democracies Deliver: Governance Reform in Latin America," seeks to explain the political conditions under which democratic states are able to improve their ability to deliver goods and services to their citizens. Specifically, I examine the effects of similar state reforms in contemporary Brazil and Argentina aimed at reducing corruption and increasing transparency in public contracting.

For my work on state capacity and political autonomy with Sérgio Praça and Matthew M. Taylor, please see the State Capacity Project website. See also the AULA Blog post on our recent research.

I can be reached at: katherine.bersch [at]