May 2018

Matias López is PhD candidate in Political Science (defending on Fall 2018) at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and a fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. His work is concentrated in the fields of political economy and comparative politics, with a focus on democracy, citizenship rights, and inequality.





Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Cambridge St 1737 - Cambridge MA

Phone: (617) 495-9114

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile - Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860 - Macul - Santiago - Chile - Phone: (56) 22354 7815 / (56) 22354 7818



PhD Political Science (on going): Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Major: Comparative Politics

Minor: Methodology-Econometrics

Dissertation supervisor: Prof. Juan Pablo Luna

Supervisor at Harvard: Prof. Steven Levitsky

M.A. Sociology and Anthropology (2012): Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Elisa Reis

B.A. Social Science (2009): Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Publications (English only)


“Elites, states, and economic inequality in Latin America” Sociological Compass (forthcoming)

“The state of poverty: Elite perceptions of the poor in Brazil and Uruguay.” International Sociology 28.3 (2013): 351-370.

“Elite perception of inequality as a threat to democracy in six Latin American countries.” In Joshua K. Dubrow (ed) Political Inequality in an Age of Democracy: Cross-national Perspectives 132 London: Routledge (2014): 65-109

“Elite Theory” Sociopedia.isa (2013) available at

“Brazilian people in the eyes of elites: repertoires and symbolic boundaries of inequality." Sociologia & Antropologia 5.1 (2015). [with Silva, Graziella Moraes]

"Elite Framing of Inequality in the Press: Brazil and Uruguay Compared." Brazilian Political Science Review 10.1 (2016).

Book Review: Mainwaring, Scott, and Aníbal S. Pérez-Liñán. Democracies and Dictatorships in Latin America: Emergence, Survival, and Fall. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Revista de Ciencia Política 35 (2), 427-431


Fellowships and Awards

2017- Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University:

Visiting predoctoral scholar fellowship

2015 - Millennium Nucleus for the Study of Stateness and Democracy in Latin America - Publication award

2014 – CONICYT grant  from the Chilean Government for doctoral studies

2011 – Sociologist of the Future Award - Honorary Mention at the Brazilian Sociological Association for the paper “Estado, Mercado e pobreza na visão das elites no Brasil e no Uruguai”

Peer review for academic journals

Energy Policy (Elsevier),

Journal of Human Development and Capabilities (Routledge)

Qualitative Sociology (Sage),

Latin American Politics and Society (Wiley),

The Latin Americanist (Wiley),

Revista de Ciencia Política (ICP-PUCC)


Further training

Methods for Interpretation and Analysis of Regression Discontinuity Designs - Prof. Rocio Titiunik (University of Michigan) - Methods Winter School  (Universidad Católica del Uruguay, July 2016)

Summer Mixed Methods School - various Professors, including Gary Goertz (Notredame), Thad Dunning (Yale), and Andrew Bennett (Georgetown University) - (UC Chile, January 2013)

Mixed Methods Design - Prof Max Bergman (University of Basel) - International Political Science Association’s Summer School (Universidade de Sao Paulo, February 2011)

Intensive Training in Quantitative Methods - MQ, Winter school on quantitative methods- Prof. Alexandre Neves (UFMG, 2011)


Further methods skills and interests

Hierarchical regression modeling, matching designs, mixed methods, survey methods, speech coding and analysis, estimation with nonrandomized and small-n samples.


Positions and membership in Research Committees

2017-18: Harvard University: Visiting predoctoral scholar

2014-to date: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: PhD student Associated to the Millennium Nucleus for the Study of Stateness and Democracy in Latin America

2010-to date: Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Inequality (NIED), Brazil: Associated researcher - fieldwork manager

2011-2014:  Current Sociology, UK: Assistant Editor of Current Sociology (Sage)

2011-to date:: RC18- Political Sociology – International Political Science Association and International Sociological Association: member

2012- to date: WG2 – Political Inequality - International Political Science Association and International Sociological Association member




2015 - Research Design (TA) - Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Chile

2010-2011 - Research Methods (TA) - Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2014 - Workshop on qualitative methods - Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Brazil

2013 - Introduction to statistical software to editorial assistant at Current Sociology




Recent oral presentations


2017: Elites and redistribution: a cultural approach. Presentation at Lund University, Lund, Sweden

2017: Unpacking inequality, elites, and democracy. Presentation at Wesleyan University, CI, USA


2017: Authoritarian bureaucracies: distrust and social distance among bureaucratic elites in South America. Presented at the IV Repal Meeting in Lima, Peru

2017: Welfare with adjectives. Presented at the XXXVI LASA conference in Lima, Peru

2016: Inequality, evolutionary threats and regime change: a design based reconsideration. (with Rodrigo Espinoza, Marcel Mejía and Benjamin Muñoz) presented at the III Repal meeting at MIT

2016: Bureaucratic elites after bureaucratic-­authoritarianism: preferences, values, and
beliefs vis­-a-­vis voters and market. Presented at the XXXV LASA conference in New York

2015: Elite strategies of state bifurcation (with Juan Pablo Luna). Presented at II Repal in Montevideo and at the seminar “Declining inequality in Latin America: are good times over?” at the Watson Institute at Brown University