Academic Profile

People Feature

Ezequiel Gonzalez Ocantos

Associate Professor in the Qualitative Study of Comparative Political Institutions
Professorial Fellow

Research Interests: Comparative Judicial Politics, International Law, Latin American Politics, Qualitative Methods

I am the Associate Professor in the Qualitative Study of Comparative Political Institutions in the Department of Politics and International Relations, and a Professorial Fellow of Nuffield College. In 2018 I received the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Politics and International Relations. I currently serve as Director of Research Training (Politics).

My primary research agenda is in the field of comparative judicial politics, with a regional focus on Latin America. I've wirtten about judicial behaviour and strategic litigation in human rights cases, transnational judicial dialogue in the Inter-American Human Rights System, and the relationship between courts and public opinion. I am the author of Shifting Legal Visions: Judicial Change and Human Rights Trials in Latin America  (Cambridge University Press, 2016), which won the Herman Pritchett Best Book Award from APSA's Law and Courts Section; the best book award from ISA's Human Rights Section; and the Donna Lee Van Cott Best Book Award from LASA's Political Institutions Section. I am currently finishing a book on transitional justice for Cambridge University Press, and starting to work on a new project that examines the causes and consequences of anti-corruption judicial crusades in Latin America. In addition to this work on courts, I've written chapters and articles on the political economy of vote buying and electoral intimidation, and also on qualitative methods. My articles have appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, International Studies Quarterly, Law & Society Review, and Sociological Methods & Research, among others.

I recieved my Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. My thesis won APSA's 2013 Edward S. Corwin Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of Public Law.

Ezequiel Gonzalez Ocantos



2016. "Shifting Legal Visions: Judicial Change and Human Rights Trials in Latin America." Cambridge Studies in Law and Society, Cambridge University Press.

Winner of the 2018 Best Book Award, International Studies Association, Human Rights Section

Winner of the 2017 H. Pritchett Best Book Award, American Political Science Association, Law and Courts Section

Winner of the 2017 Donna Lee Van Cott Best Book Award, Latin American Studies Association, Political Institutions Section

In preparation. The Politics of Transitional Justice in Latin America: Power, Norms and Institutional Change (for Cambridge University Press, Elements Series: Politics and Society in Latin America)

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Forthcoming. "Compensation and Compliance: Sources of Public Acceptance of the UK Supreme Court's Brexit Decision," in Law & Society Review (with Elias Dinas)

Forthcoming. "Process Tracing and the Problem of Missing Data," in Sociological Methods and Research (with Jody LaPorte)

Forthcoming. “Carrots and Sticks: Experimental Evidence of Vote Buying and Voter Intimidation in Guatemala” in Journal of Peace Research (with Carlos Meléndez, Chad Kiewiet de Jonge, Javier Osorio and David Nickerson)

2019. "Lava Jato Beyond Borders: The Uneven Performance of Anti-Corruption Judicial Crusades in Latin America" in Taiwan Journal of Democracy, 15(1): 63-89 (with Viviana Baraybar-Hidalgo), special issue on anti-corruption politics

2018. "Communicative Entrepreneurs: The Case of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights' Dialogue with National Judges" in International Studies Quarterly, 62(4): 737-750

2018. "Remittances and Vote Buying: Experimental Evidence from El Salvador," in Latin American Research Review, 53(4): 789-707 (with Chad Kiewiet de Jonge and Covadonga Meseguer)

2016. "Evaluations of Human Rights Trials and Trust in Judicial Institutions: Evidence from Fujimori’s Trial in Peru," in The International Journal of Human Rights, 20(4): 445-470

2015. "Legitimacy Buying: The Dynamics of Clientelism in the Face of Legitimacy Challenges," in Comparative Political Studies, 48(9):1127-1158 (with Chad Kiewiet de Jonge and David Nickerson)

2014. "Persuade Them or Oust Them: Crafting Judicial Change and Transitional Justice in Argentina," in Comparative Politics, 46(4):279-298

2014. "The Conditionality of Vote Buying Norms: Experimental Evidence from Latin America," in American Journal of Political Science, 58(1):197-211 (with Chad Kiewiet de Jonge and David Nickerson)

2012. "Vote Buying and Social Desirability Bias: Experimental Evidence from Nigaragua," in American Journal of Political Science, 56(1):202-217 (with Chad Kiewiet de Jonge, Carlos Melendez, Javier Osorio and David Nickerson)