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Welcome to my webpage! I am Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department and Director of the International Affairs Program at Marquette University.

I study interest representation, accountability institutions, and political economy, centrally in Latin America. My research endeavors to identify success cases of policy innovation and challenge the assumptions that underlie “best practices” promoted by the international development community. My approach is question-driven, drawing on experiments and other causal-inference strategies, field-based qualitative methods, and original surveys. And all of my projects entail a significant policy-impact component, nurtured through longstanding relationships with civil society partners in Mexico.

My book, Evading the Patronage Trap: Interest Representation in Mexico, examines the representation of small business and peasant organizations in development policy in Mexico. I show how these organizations’ specialization in patronage politics contributes to economic inequality, and draw lessons from organizations that evade a specialization in patronage. This project was awarded APSA’s Lasswell Award for best dissertation in Public Policy.

A second collaborative research agenda looks at the relationship between access-to-information institutions and citizen-driven accountability using computational text analysis, machine learning, and field research findings gathered through partnerships with Mexican civil society organizations. See a related interactive website we created as part of a policy-impact campaign.

I can be contacted at brian.palmer-rubin@marquette.edu.