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Palácio do Congresso Nacional. Brasília, 1960. Foto: Marcel Gautherot/IMS


Dr. Katherine Bersch is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Davidson College. She is also an investigator with The Governance Project at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.

Her research focuses on democratic quality in developing countries, with an emphasis on governance reform and state capacity in Latin America. Her book, When Democracies Deliver: Governance Reform in Latin America, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2019. Bersch has also been published or is forthcoming in Comparative Politics, Governance, Studies in Comparative International Development, the European Journal of Development Research, Information Polity, and Centeno, Kohli, and Yashar’s edited volume, States in the Developing World. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage. She is the recipient of the 2015 LAPIS Award from the Latin American Studies Association for her coauthored paper on state capacity, and her research has been supported by a U.S. Student Fulbright Grant, a Boren Fellowship from the National Security Education Program, an Eisenhower-Roberts Fellowship, a Mike Hogg Endowed Fellowship, and a National P.E.O. Scholar Award.

Prior to joining the faculty at Davidson, she completed her doctorate in Government at the University of Texas at Austin. She was then a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law, and at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development.