I am a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Harvard's Department of Government.

I am a comparativist who explores the nature, causes, and consequences of political institutions. I make use of both observational and experimental empirical strategies to study global and local questions about the functioning of democracy and of political parties.

My book project explores the nature and causes of patterns of political representation in democracies with weak political parties. This work argues that democracies with weak parties emerge out of the interplay between politicians’ strategies and the distribution of politically relevant resources in society. I develop a theory to explain how inequality breeds personalism, which I characterize in the book as the main alternative to party-based political strategies in democracies, thus weakening politicians’ incentives to strengthen parties. In doing so, I connect the works on the political economy of democracy, which see inequality as a cause of institutional inefficiency, and those on party systems in new democracies. My book project tests this theory cross-nationally, sub-nationally within Brazil, experimentally, and through case studies of the evolution of party systems in Brazil, Portugal, and Mexico. Given the many normatively desirable contributions of strong political parties to democracy, my book sheds light on the causes of a major obstacle to the economic and political development of democracies worldwide.

I have a second book project, with Scott Mainwaring, on the “democratization of democracies.” In it, we plan to explore the few late-democratizing countries where democracy has deepened in the past decades. Our book will not only characterize this deepening but also study its causes. This book will build both on a series of publications—in which we studied the regime outcomes of third- and fourth-wave democracies—and on my experience as the main US-based research assistant to the V-Dem project between 2014 and 2016.

Some of my work deals specifically with different aspects of electoral and institutional politics in Brazil and Latin America, from where I come.

You can download my CV here

Email: fbizzarroneto@g.harvard.edu


 ▏Work in progress

"When parties? Inequality, personalism, and party-based democracy" (JMP). APSA Presentation

"Do voters like strong parties?".

"Personalist Leaders in Democracies"

"Beyond Electoralism: A New Categorical Classification of Political Regimes, 1900-2020". (With Scott Mainwaring and Natán Skigin)

"The V-Dem Party Institutionalization Index". (With Allen Hicken and Darin Self)

"Religious Competition and the Rise of Leftist Parties: Why the Catholic Church Provided the Mass Base for the Workers’ Party in Brazil". (With Guillermo Trejo)



Journal articles

Mainwaring, S. , and F. Bizzarro. 2019. “The Fates Of Third-Wave DemocraciesJournal of Democracy 30(1): 99–113. En Español. Em Português.

Bizzarro, F. et al. 2018. “Party Strength and Economic Growth.” World Politics 70(2): 275–320.

Bizzarro, F. and M. Coppedge. 2017. “Variedades da Democracia no Brasil”, Opinião Pública 23(1): 1-42

Meneguello, R. and F. Bizzarro. 2012. “Contexto e Competição na Política Paulista”, Dados 55(1): 119-171.

Book Chapters

Pratas, M., and F. Bizzarro. Forthcoming. ”Political Parties and Party Systems”. In Fernandes, J., and P. Magalhaes, and A. Costa Pinto. Oxford Handbook of Portuguese Politics. Oxford, United Kingdom.

Mainwaring, S., and F. Bizzarro. 2020. “Outcomes after Transitions in Third Wave Democracies.” In D. Berg-Schlosser, B. Badie, and L. Morlino The SAGE handbook of political science. Vol. 3. SAGE Publications Ltd.  pp. 1540-1557

Seim, B., M. Bernhard, F. Bizzarro, M. Coppedge, J. Gerring, S. I. Lindberg, M. Maguire, D. Pemstein, J. Teorell, and E. Tzelgov. 2020. “Data Validation”. In M. Coppedge et al. Varieties of Democracy: Measuring Two Centuries of Political Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 130 - 177

Mainwaring, S., F. Bizzarro, and A. Petrova. 2018. “Party System Institutionalization, Decay, and Collapse.” In S.Mainwaring. Party Systems in Latin America: Institutionalization, Decay, and Collapse. Cambridge, United Kingdom; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 17–33.

Mainwaring, S., and F. Bizzarro. 2018. “Party System Institutionalization: Cross-National Correlates.” In S.Mainwaring. Party Systems in Latin America: Institutionalization, Decay, and Collapse. Cambridge, United Kingdom; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 102–133.

Mainwaring, S., T. J. Power, and F. Bizzarro. 2018. “The Uneven Institutionalization of a Party System: Brazil” In S. Mainwaring. Party Systems in Latin America: Institutionalization, Decay, and Collapse. Cambridge, United Kingdom; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 164–200.

Bizzarro, F. 2014. “Os partidos e a política local: a reorganização do PMDB paulista depois de Quércia". In M. M. da Rocha and M. T. Kerbauy. Eleições, partidos e representação políıtica nos municípios brasileiros. Juiz de Fora: Editora UFJF.