Tomás Quesada-Alpízar | Student | Profiles
Tomás Quesada-Alpízar

Mr. Tomás Quesada-Alpízar

Research topic:
Endogenous Empowerment of the Constitutional Courts of Costa Rica, Chile and Uruguay (1990-2015)
Degree course:

Academic Profile

I am currently a DPhil student at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. I am also a member of Saint Cross College. Previously, I got a BA and a Licenciatura in Law from the University of Costa Rica (2002-2008) and a MSc in Comparative Politics-Democracy (2009-2010) from the The London School of Economics and Political Science.

Teaching specialism, interests and experience

My academic work combines theories and empirical studies in the fields of constitutional law and judicial politics. I use and critically assess theories on judicial review of constitutionality, constitutional rights, judicial politics, judicial behaviour, and institutional change. Empirically, I am interested in exploring the processes of endogenous empowerment of constitutional courts as a result of exogenous and endogenous ideational revolutions, mainly due to constitutional justices’ and politicians’ ideas on institutional mission of constitutional tribunals, the protection of fundamental and human rights, and the use of expansive hermeneutic techniques. I am currently studying the cases of Costa Rica, Chile and Uruguay from 1990 to 2015, three of the most similar and consolidated democracies in Latin America, but with contrasting experiences in levels of empowerment of their constitutional courts. My research aims at complementing exogenous and static explanations of judicial power, as well as attitudinal and strategic approaches to judicial behaviour, with endogenous, dynamic, and informal explanations of the construction of judicial power.


Visiting Leibniz Scholar


Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Heidelberg, Germany

September-December 2016

Department Studentship


Department of Politics

University of Oxford

August 2014- November 2015

Academic Research Award


Santander Awards, University of Oxford


March 2014


Academic Research Award


Mellon Chester Fund

Department of Politics

University of Oxford


June 2014

July 2016

Academic Award “Fernando Soto Harrison 2008”

For the best thesis of Licenciatura of the Schools of Law, Economics and Social Sciences


University of Costa Rica March 2010

Scholarship to attend the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)


Scholarships Programme IDB-Japan

Inter-American Development Bank

July 2009

Scholarship to attend Summer Course“The European System of Human Rights Protection”.

University of Viadrina


DAAD (German Academic Exchange Programme) September 2006

Honour Student Scholarship for outstanding academic performance

University of Costa Rica, Law School