Mr. Tomás Quesada-Alpízar
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.