Dr. Sergio Ascencio


Assistant Professor


Political Science

Describe your research in about 200 words.

My research interests lie at the intersection of comparative politics and political economy. More specifically, I am interested in political institutions, electoral competition, and party strategy in developing democracies, with a focus on Latin America. My main research projects use both formal theory and quantitative methods to analyze the dynamics and consequences of institutional change within political parties, with an emphasis on candidate selection rules. Additionally, I am actively engaged in a series of papers on the political economy of electoral manipulation, one of which is forthcoming at the American Political Science Review.

What’s the most interesting thing you have learned from a student?

I once had a student from the DRC who, by age 21, had built a school in his hometown and taught thousands of adults from the region how to read. I learned many things from him, but the one that comes to mind is that one person can really transform an entire city.