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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Hector Ibarra-Rueda

Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin; M.A., Latin American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin; B.A., Business Administration, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos, Mexico

Hector Ibarra-Rueda


My fields of study are comparative politics and methodology. My dissertation demonstrates that factionalism explains the resilience of formerly nationally dominant parties at the subnational level. When intraparty factions are united, subnational dominant parties retain power even under adverse electoral conditions. By contrast, divisions and conflicts among internal groups lead these parties to lose even in favorable electoral contexts. I test these claims using a variety of quantitative and qualitative evidence from Mexico, focusing on the electoral performance of the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) in contemporary gubernatorial elections. My dissertation also shows that democratization potentially undermines unity in dominant parties because it provides politicians with viable exit options (i.e., joining the opposition) and because authoritarian central party committees no longer control subnational politics. Yet, I argue that factions can cooperate under democracy when they were more autonomous from the center during the authoritarian period. The negotiation skills acquired in the past help them “get along” in the absence of an external enforcer. By contrast, previously subordinated factions never acquired such skills and quickly became antagonistic to each other under democracy. I demonstrate that collaboration had positive electoral consequences in subnational elections whereas antagonism had pernicious ones.

I have received generous research support from the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) E.D. Farmer International Fellowship (academic years 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2012-2013), the UT-Austin Republic of Mexico Solidaridad Endowed Presidential Fellowship (academic year 2009-2010), the UT-Austin Department of Government MacDonald-Long Dissertation Fellowship (academic year 2010-2011), and the National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT) of Mexico Scholarship (from 2006 to 2011).


Comparative Politics, Political Communication, Public Policy, Political Parties, Latin America, Mexico
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