Academic Profile

People Feature

Ezequiel Gonzalez Ocantos

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

Research Interests: Comparative Judicial Politics, Human Rights, International Law, Corruption, Public Opinion, 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.

My primary research agenda is in the field of comparative judicial politics. I am particularly interested in the determinants of judicial and prosecutorial behaviour in high-stakes cases of macro-criminality, including human rights violations and grand corruption. I've published four books on these topics: 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; The Politics of Transitional Justice in Latin America: Power, Norms and Capability Building (Cambridge University Press, 2020); Prosecutors, Voters, and The Criminalization of Corruption in Latin America: The Case of Lava Jato (w/ Paula Muñoz, Nara Pavao & Viviana Baraybar; Cambridge University Press, forthcoming); and The Limits of Judicialization: From Progress to Backlash in Latin America (co-edited w/ Sandra Botero & Daniel Brinks; Cambridge University Press, 2022). I've also published on judicial dialogue and backlash in the Inter-American System of Human Rights; the relationship between courts and public opinion in Latin America and Europe; the political economy of vote buying and electoral intimidation; and qualitative methods. My peer-reviewed articles have appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of Political ResearchInternational Studies Quarterly, Latin American Research ReviewLaw & Society Review, Law & Social Inquiry, Journal of Peace ResearchSociological Methods & Research, The International Journal of Constitutional Law and The International Journal of Human Rights.

Since 2021 I co-edit Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research, the flagship publication of APSA's Qualitative and Multi-Methods Research Section.

I received a PhD in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. My doctoral thesis won APSA's 2013 Edward S. Corwin Award for the best dissertation in the field of Public Law. In 2018 I won the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Politics and International Relations, which recognises "the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising."

 

 

Ezequiel Gonzalez Ocantos

Publications

Books

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

Reviews: Perspectives on Politics, Latin American Research Review, Latin American Politics and Society, Law and Society ReviewThe English Historical Review

 

2020. The Politics of Transitional Justice in Latin America: Power, Norms and Capacity Building. Cambridge University Press, Elements in Politics and Society in Latin America

Reviews: Democratization, Latin American Research Review

2022. The Limits of Judicialization: From Progress to Backlash in Latin American Politics. Cambridge University Press, co-edited with Sandra Botero & Dabiel Brinks

Forthcoming. Prosecutors, Voters, and The Criminalization of Corruption in Latin America: The Case of Lava Jato. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in Law and Society (with Paula Muñoz, Nara Pavao and Viviana Baraybar)

 

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Forthcoming. “Conceptualizar y medir las culturas legales: evidencia de una encuesta a los jueces federales mexicanos,” en Política y Gobierno (con Karina Ansolabehere and Sandra Botero)

 

2022. "The Sources of Resilience of International Human Rights Courts: The Case of the Inter-American System" in Law and Social Inquiry, 41(1): 95-131 (with Wayne Sandholtz)

2021. "Process Tracing and the Problem of Missing Data," in Sociological Methods and Research, 50(3):1407-1435 (with Jody LaPorte)

Winner of the 2020 Alexander George Best Article Award, American Political Science Association, Qualitative and Mixed Methods Section

2021. "Constructing a Regional Human Rights Legal Order: The Inter-American Court, National Courts and Judicial Dialogue - 1988-2014," in International Journal of Constitutional Law, 9(5): 1559-1596 (with Wayne Sandholtz)

2021. "Defending the European Court of Human Rights: Experimental Evidence from Britain," in European Journal of Political Research, 60(2): 397-417 (with Elias Dinas)

2020. "Carrots and Sticks: Experimental Evidence of Vote Buying and Voter Intimidation in Guatemala" in Journal of Peace Research, 57(1):46-61 (with Carlos Meléndez, Chad Kiewiet de Jonge, Javier Osorio and David Nickerson)

2019. "Compensation and Compliance: Sources of Public Acceptance of the UK Supreme Court's Brexit Decision," in Law & Society Review, 53(3): 889-919 (with Elias Dinas)

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)

 

Book Chapters

Forthcoming. "Working in New Political Spaces: The Checkered History of Latin American Judicialization," in S. Botero, D. Brinks & E. Gonzalez-Ocantos eds. The Limits of Judicialization: From Progress to Backlash in Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press (with Sandra Botero and Daniel Brinks)

Forthcoming. "The Peruvian Chapter of Lava Jato: Judicial Agency, Backlash and Resistance in Anti-Corruption Crusades," in S. Botero, D. Brinks & E. Gonzalez-Ocantos eds. The Limits of Judicialization: From Progress to Backlash in Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press (with Viviana Baraybar)

Forthcoming. “Electoral Fraud,” in E. Posada-Carbó & A. Robertson eds. The Oxford Handbook of Revolutionary Elections in the Americas. Oxford: Oxford University Press (with Svitlana Chernykh)

2020. "Designing Qualitative Research Projects: Notes on Theory Building, Case Selection and Field Research" in L. Curini and R. Franzese Jr. eds. SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations.Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE

2019. "Courts in Latin American Politics," in Oxford Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press

2019. "Clientelism in Latin American Politics," in Oxford Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press (with Virginia Oliveros)

2017. “Political Clientelism,” in W. Outhwaite & S. Turner eds. The SAGE Handbook of Political Sociology.Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE (with Paula Muñoz)

2015. “Dependencia y Autonomía,” in M. D’Alessandro & G. Ippolito-O’Donnell eds. La ciencia política de Guillermo O’Donnell. Buenos Aires, Argentina: EUDEBA

2010. “Crisis de gobernabilidad en América Latina: Juegos verticales y horizontales,” in F. Barrero & S. Jost eds. Estabilidad democrática en América Latina: Equilibrio de poderes, perspectivas teóricas. Bogotá, Colombia: Fondo Editorial de la Universidad Sergio Arboleda. (with Carlos Meléndez)

 

Commissioned Academic Reports

2016. Informe Especial sobre Libertad del Sufragio en Mexico. Mexico: Institito Nacional Electoral (with Chad Kiewiet de Jonge and Javier Osorio)

2013. Avances y obstáculos en el juzgamiento de graves violaciones de derechos humanos y crímenes internacionales en América Latina. Informe presentado a la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos en audiencia temática regional durante el 149 período de sesiones.(with Due Process of Law Foundation, Instituto de Defensa Legal, FESPAD, Centro de Derechos Humanos Universidad Diego Portales, and Fundación Myrna Mack)

2012. Aproximación a las percepciones de la ciudadanía sobre la compra de votos y la intimidación de votantes en el régimen político guatemalteco. Cdad. de Guatemala, Guatemala: National Democratic Institute. (with Carlos Meléndez, Chad Kiewiet de Jonge, Javier Osorio and David Nickerson)

 

Working Papers

"Interviewing for Process Tracing" (with Juan Masullo)

"Witch Hunts? Electoral Cycles and the Judicialization of Corruption in Argentina" (with German Feierherd and Guadalupe Tuñon), under review

"Why Some Beggars Can Be Choosers: The Ford Foundation and Human Rights Activism" (with Alvaro Morcillo Laiz), under review