Maryhen Jimenez Morales

 Maryhen Jimenez Morales

Research topic:
Opposition Competitiveness in Authoritarian Regimes in Latin America
Degree course:

Research Themes:
Political Theory Democracy and Democratisation Political Parties Comparative Politics and Government  

Academic Profile

I am a doctoral student at St Cross College, working under the supervision of Professor David Doyle and Professor Nancy Bermeo. My research interests include democratic transition, electoral authoritarianism, political parties and Latin America. I am particularly interested in Venezuelan politics and I have conducted fieldwork in Venezuela, Costa Rica, and the US. I have previously read for a B.A. (with distinction) in Political Science (major) and Public Law (minor) at the University of Frankfurt, Germany. In 2015, I succesfully completed the MPhil in Latin American Studies at St. Anthony's College, Oxford. I have also worked for the German development cooperation and interned at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (San José, Costa Rica) and the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch (Washington, D.C). 

My doctoral thesis examines opposition competitiveness under electoral authoritarian regimes (EARs) in Latin America. I aim to answer why and under which circumstances some opposition parties are able to increase their competitiveness to the incumbent party while others fail to do so.  In the aftermath of the third wave of democratization, electoral authoritarianism (EA) emerged as a popular regime type around the world. EARs are ‘hybrid’ regimes that do not qualify as fully competitive democracies nor fully closed one party authoritarian regimes. This hybridity poses a challenge both for incumbents and opponents. While rulers benefit from durability and stability since they control state resources, state institutions and political processes, the mere possibility of allowing political competition through regularly held elections (even if coerced) creates a window for political change. Given structural and institutional constraints what strategies should opposition use to bring down EARs and why are some oppositions more successful than others in bringing down EARs? In this analysis, I look to systematically identify why and how opponents increase their competitiveness in EARs.  

To answer my research question, I will conduct a comparative case study based on three countries, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.


Teaching specialism, interests and experience

Teaching Interests: 

Introduction to Political Science, Comparative Government, Latin American Politics, Research Design 



  • Cusanuswerk: scholarship for doctoral studies, 2015-2018

  • Cusanuswerk: scholarship for graduate studies, MPhil Latin American Studies, University of Oxford, 2013-2015

  • Travel Grant Latin American Centre Oxford, 2014

  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): scholarship for internship at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, San José, Costa Rica 

  • ASA-Scholarship by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development for internship in Peru, 2011

  • Cusanuswerk: scholarship for undergraduate studies, BA Political Science, University of Frankfurt, 2010 - 2012


Opinion articles: