77) Machine Gun Politics


Today, I welcome Jessie Bullock, PhD candidate in Government at Harvard University, to introduce the concept of corruption. More specifically, explore the reasons as to why politicians are actively and willingly engaging with criminal organizations in Southern and Central America.

Bio: I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University, studying Comparative Politics and Political Economy. My broad research interests include conflict, organized crime, inequality, distributive politics, corruption, and rule of law.My dissertation book project, Machine Gun Politics: Why Politicians Cooperate with Criminal Groups, explains what politicians can gain from partnering with criminal actors. I leverage a quasi-experimental study of voting, an original database on criminal governance, and 18 months of extensive fieldwork in this mixed-methods study of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A working paper drawing from my dissertation, Organized Crime and Voter Mobilization, recently won the 2020 Best Paper Award from the Subnational Politics and Society section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA).My other research focuses on the implications of public security on inequality and violence. My working paper Why Limiting Police Raids Decreased Criminal Violence in Rio de Janeiro was referenced in Brazilian Supreme Court testimony regarding the legality of police raids.I am the recipient of a 2019 Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Dissertation Writing Fellowship and the 2018 recipient of the Jorge Paulo Lemann Traveling Fellowship to Brazil. My field work has generously been supported by the Corporación Andino de Fomiento (CAF), David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS), the Harvard Brazil Cities Initiative, and the Foundations of Human Behavior Initiative (FHB). I am a current graduate student affiliate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences.