Maria I. Puerta Riera

Maria I. Puerta Riera

About Me

I am an adjunct professor of Political Science teaching U.S. Government, State and Local Government, and International Politics at Valencia College. I was a Visiting Professor of Political Science from July 2021 to May 2022.

I am an Associate Researcher at GAPAC currently working on Sharp Power in Latin America and the effects of authoritarianism and illiberalism in exiled communities.

I was an Associate Professor of Political Science at Universidad de Carabobo for 18 years, chair of Public Management and coordinator of the Research Group on Politics and Institutions.

My research focuses on democracy backsliding, authoritarian and populist experience in Latin America. My first book, “The Debate Between the Models of Representative and Participatory Democracy: Theoretical Conceptual Elements,” recounts the theoretical foundations of democracy and the transition from the representative to the participative model in Venezuela. My second book, “Institutions and State in Venezuela: Chronicles of the Venezuelan Institutional Crisis,” reflects on the democratic erosion in Venezuela under the rule of Hugo Chávez.

My research interests include democratic backsliding, hybrid regimes, authoritarianism, illiberalism, populism, and immigration in Latin America. My teaching interests are comparative politics, Latin American politics, comparative democratization, international politics, and immigration.

I have published articles on the influence of Russian-state media in Latin America with Johanna Cilano; Chinese authoritarian influence in Latin America with Armando Chaguaceda; effectiveness of economic sanctions; populism and autocratization under the pandemic; analyzed the Colombian government’s strategy against Nicolás Maduro with Omar Ocampo; political models and participation in Latin America with Armando Chaguaceda; Venezuela’s crisis of democracy; authoritarian decay in Venezuela with Armando Chaguaceda; the crisis of democracy in political theory; Venezuelan hybrid regime with Armando Chaguaceda; communal councils in Venezuela; the crisis of democracy and representation in Venezuela.

My work has been published in: NACLA, PROGRAMA CUBA, Foro Cubano Revista de divulgación, Revista Demo Amlat, Democracia Actual, Development, Diálogo Político, Revista Espiral, Revista Mexicana de Análisis y Administración Pública, Revista Observatorio Laboral.

I received a Doctorate in Social Sciences and an M.A. in Political Science and Public Administration from the Universidad de Carabobo in Venezuela.

Contact Information

Maria Puerta-Riera
3255 Pleasant Hill Rd.
Kissimmee, FL 34746

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