CLAS Official Newsletter: Events, Job Opportunities, and More!
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CLAS Chronicles

February 23, 2023

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Faculty Feature


Exploring the Link Between Crime and Development

Dr. Christopher M. Johnson is a Senior Social Development Specialist who focuses on crime and violence prevention at The World Bank as well as assessing social risks of World Bank projects. He has worked as a researcher in previous positions examining the non-state armed actor integration in the state. He received his PhD from the London School of Economics where he studied urban gangs in the Northeast of Brazil.

This semester Dr. Johnson joins CLAS and GHD to teach a graduate seminar titled Crime and State Capture in Latin America. When asked about his motivation and time teaching this course he said, “…this has been a great opportunity to share my knowledge from the field with students that are just embarking on their own professional careers. The seminar I teach lifts the veil on development work to show how complex it is to address historical and often structural problems. The course allows me along with the students, to explore new ideas and re-think old ones that may not have achieved expected positive results.” Chris also said that in programs like CLAS and GHD this seminar is crucial because “it is a course that is not often offered in graduate programs but is an essential part of the historical legacy of many countries in Latin America. As a region that suffers the highest homicide rates in the world, it is important to understand why that is and the social, political, and economic impacts this has on societies that while largely democratic have wrestled with how to combat issues around drug trafficking, organized crime, and their perverse integration into the State.”

Welcome, Dr. Johnson!

Apply to our program! 

Join CLAS at our top M.A. Program in Latin American Studies. Applications are open!

We seek applicants with a proven commitment to Latin American Studies. Housed in the School of Foreign Service, our M.A. Program offers a wide variety of options to our students, including a rich and diverse intellectual environment and a location that allows them to be exposed to and participate in cutting edge research, internships, and policy issues affecting the hemisphere. 

Interesting Reads


Mujeres Movilizadas en América Latina 

Por tercera vez en su historia, el feminismo se ha convertido en un movimiento de masas: las mujeres salen a las calles, toman las plazas y las avenidas, sus reclamos ocupan el espacio y el debate públicos. En las distintas ciudades y países de América Latina, se asiste a formas ampliadas de feminismo, con inéditas adhesiones y la participación mayoritaria de jóvenes. Este libro presenta un conjunto de escenarios de la región en lo que va del siglo XXI, caracterizado por movilizaciones masivas con reclamos y prerrogativas que buscan la conquista de sociedades más igualitarias.

Read Publication Here 

 Upcoming Events


Peaceful Borders and Illicit Transnational Flows: The Case of the Americas

Thursday, February 23, 2023
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST 
Hybrid Event
In Person: Mortara Center Building Conference Room
In their book The Unintended Consequences of Peace: Peaceful Borders and Illicit Transnational Flows (2021), Arie Kacowicz and his co-authors argue that international peace creates an environment that facilitates the illicit flow of goods and services due to less strict security measures between the borders of peaceful countries. The authors find that increased illicit flows can destabilize regions as they experience periods of peaceful democracy. How can this phenomenon be explained, and what examples can be found in the Americas? In the book Kacowicz and his coauthors explore how the physical traits of a border, the strength of rule of law in a country, and regional socioeconomic conditions contribute to increased illegal flows. 

The Georgetown Americas Institute is pleased to welcome Arie Kacowicz, Chaim Weizmann Chair in International Relations and full professor of international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, to discuss settled borders and illicit transnational flows in the context of the Americas. The discussion will be moderated by GAI managing director Denisse Yanovich.

Democracies Need Robust Evidence:
The Mexican Evaluation System

Monday, February 27, 2023
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST 
Hybrid Event
In Person: Leavey Center Leavey Program Room
Despite the relatively strong performance of economic indicators in Latin America in the first decades of the twenty-first century, many policymakers and government leaders were caught by surprise as citizens took to the streets to express their discontent with the political and economic systems and governing elites. These decision-makers often defined poverty through a one-dimensional measure of income, rather than fully capture the experience of poverty and socioeconomic needs of a population through other important measures of economic progress. The Georgetown Americas Institute is pleased to welcome Gonzalo Hernandez, director of the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network, to talk about the importance of establishing national poverty indices that are multidimensional, official, and permanent, pointing to Mexico as a case study. These indices bring forth citizens' needs in dimensions beyond income such as health, education, and living standards (among others), and they allow policymakers to better design effective policies to reduce poverty. The conversation will be moderated by Alejandro Werner, director of the Georgetown Americas Institute.

Evaluating Mexican Social Policies in the Past Decade

Tuesday, February 28, 2023
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. EST
Online Event
Mexico is among the 15 largest economies in the world and the second largest economy in Latin America. The country has strong macroeconomic institutions, and it is open to trade. However, Mexico has underperformed in terms of growth, inclusion, and poverty reduction compared to similar countries worldwide. When looking at Mexico’s socioeconomic policies in the past decade, what can be said about why the country has not performed to its full potential? What are the main factors that impact poverty levels in the country, and what can policymakers do about the growing rates of poverty and inequality?

The Georgetown Americas Institute is pleased to welcome Gonzalo Hernandez, director of the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network; Nora Lustig, Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics and the founding director of the Commitment to Equity Institute (CEQ) at Tulane University; and Santiago Levy, senior advisor at the United Nations Development Programme and a nonresident senior fellow with the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution, to a conversation to discuss these issues. The meeting will take place over Zoom and will be moderated by Alejandro Werner, director of the Georgetown Americas Institute.

This conversation will take place in English and Spanish with interpretation services available.

5th Annual Virtual Startup Career Fair

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
5:00-7:00 pm ET
Online Event

The Startup Career Fair brings the DMV’s most innovative startups and high-growth companies together to offer Hoyas exciting career opportunities in our local startup ecosystem.


War and Justice in theTwenty-First Century:
A Case Study on the International Criminal Court and its Interaction with the War on Terror

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
4:00 PM EST
Mortara Center Building Conference Room 
The Georgetown Americas Institute is pleased to welcome Luis Moreno Ocampo to talk about his book War and Justice in the 21st Century: A Case Study on the International Criminal Court (2022), which presents the inside story of the International Criminal Court (ICC) from the unique perspective of its first chief prosecutor. In the book, he argues that the War on Terror expanded support for international terrorism, rather than deterred it, and demonstrates that the design of the ICC and the lack of harmonization among legal systems has hampered the ability to produce justice. In this conversation with Professor Julie O’Sullivan, Agnes Williams Sesquicentennial Professor at Georgetown Law, Moreno Ocampo will present his book’s interdisciplinary analysis of a fragmented international legal system's operation and the relationships between legal and political decisions.

This event is co-sponsored by the Georgetown Americas Institute in collaboration with the Embassy of Argentina.

A Comparative Study between Brazil and China:
FDI, Urbanization and Infrastructure in the 21st Century

Thursday, March 2, 2023
12:00 PM PST
Online Event
This research consists of a comparative study of Brazilian and Chinese urbanization processes. The hypothesis is that the externalization of Chinese development, expressed in projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative, once reshaping the global built environment, represents a new moment in Brazilian urban and territorial trends. China is now the largest trade partner, one of the largest investors, and participates in many strategic infrastructure projects in Brazil. The two first governments of Luis Inácio Lula da Silva (from 2003 to 2011) marked a structural shift in the relationship between the two countries, and 2023 suggests a new shifting point. This study analyzes elements such as FDI, the state, and the built environment (roads, bridges, railways…) from a comparative perspective, between 2001 and 2024.

Understanding Current Mexico:
The Grammar of Violence

Thursday, March 2, 2023
12:00 PM PST
Online Event
Juan Villoro is Mexico’s most prolific, prize-winning author, playwright, journalist, and screenwriter. His books have been translated into multiple languages. Several of his books have appeared in English, including his celebrated 2016 essay collection on soccer brought out by Restless Books, God Is Round. Villoro lives in Mexico City and has been a visiting lecturer at Yale, Princeton and Stanford universities.

Student Opportunities

Feminismo, Trabajo y Acción Sindical: Diálogo entre Europa y América Latina 
Deadline: July 17, 2023

El Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO), junto con el Instituto de Estudios Sociales en Contextos de Desigualdades de la Universidad Nacional de José C. Paz (IESCODE – UNPAZ), el Instituto Universitario de Estudios de las Mujeres de la Universidad de Valencia y el Grupo de Trabajo CLACSO “¿Qué trabajo para qué futuro?” organizan la Convocatoria de ensayos “Feminismos, trabajo y acción sindical: diálogos entre Europa y América Latina” con el propósito de incentivar la investigación y reflexión crítica en torno a dinámicas, demandas y marcos normativos resultantes de la confluencia de ideas y prácticas feministas en el ámbito laboral y sindical.

GAI Student Research Grant Applications Now Open
Deadline: March 1, 2023
Applications for the Georgetown Americas Institute 2023 spring student research grants are now open. GAI supports interdisciplinary research on Western Hemisphere affairs around four critical challenges: governance and the rule of law; economic growth and innovation; social and cultural inclusion; and sustainability and the environment. Applications will close March 1, 2023. Questions may be directed to
Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship Program 

Deadline: March 2023

The Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship Program is a grant program under the U.S. Department of State. The program enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad. It is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Pell Grant funding and planning to study or intern abroad during any term.

Successful applicants will receive awards up to $5,000 to defray eligible study/intern abroad costs. Awards amounts vary depending on the length of study and student need. Applicants who are studying a critical language such as Swahili, Portuguese, or Arabic while abroad in a country where the language is spoken will be automatically considered for the Critical Need Language Award, for a total award of $8,000. 

The Pitch 2023: A Competition of New Ideas

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is hosting The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas, its annual premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security. Selected applicants will make their pitch for innovative policy ideas to meet new challenges in U.S. national security policy in front of a distinguished panel of judges.


Professional Opportunities

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, NED makes more than 2,000 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 100 countries.

POSITION: Program Officer, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
The Program Officer will work with the LAC team leadership to manage the Endowment’s LAC Regional program, particularly initiatives focused on democratic cooperation and solidarity building in the region, including monitoring and assessment of regional projects.
Job Posting

For a complete list of job postings at The National Endowment for Democracy visit their Careers Page
Program Associate, Latin America and the Caribbean, Center For International Private Enterprise

This full-time, regular, non-exempt position is based in the Washington D.C. . The Program Associate, Latin American and Caribbean (LAC), will have the responsibility of providing administrative support to the CIPE team working on programs in Central and South America, and the Caribbean. The position requires a dedication to assisting a large team and its programs, including staff in Washington D.C., field offices, and international consultants.
Program Officer, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

The Program Officer will work with the LAC team leadership to manage the Endowment’s LAC Regional program, particularly initiatives focused on democratic cooperation and solidarity building in the region, including monitoring and assessment of regional projects.
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