My research focuses on Comparative Judicial Politics. In my dissertation ‘Judges and their Loyalties’, I assess the links between Judges and political actors, and their influence on judicial decision-making, by looking at the Venezuelan case in detail and providing the foundations for a subsequent comparison vis-a-vis Costa Rica and Paraguay. My research combines qualitative and quantitative tools, including the development and usage of a database of constitutional review rulings of the Venezuelan Supreme Court (1989-2009), that I plan to extend to other types of rulings of the said court and other Latin American countries with the help of subsequent grants. Thus, my work relies largely on quantitative analysis, and one of my research goals is to contribute to the recent wave of work on empirical legal studies comparatively, with an emphasis on assessing the conditions that lead to judicial empowerment across different regime types.
I also have other single and coauthored research projects in the pipeline, including ongoing work on rights revolution comparatively in Common Law and Civil Law countries (with Donald R. Songer, Kirk Randazzo, Susanne Schorpp and Lee Walker); research about the relationship between the quality of the judiciary and corruption; work on judicial power in hybrid regimes and during political transitions, and a pilot project to compare judicial decision-making in Private International Law cases across Civil Law Jurisdictions.
With Ludovico Feoli and sponsored by CIPR, I recently organized a conference at Tulane University titled ‘Venezuela from the Neutral Ground‘. Our next goal is to turn the proceedings of this successful conference into an edited volume that offers a balanced and rich portray of contemporary Venezuelan politics.