Tesalia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Merced. She has a PhD in Political Science from MIT and is a Faculty Affiliate with MIT GOV/LAB. Previously, Tesalia was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for US-Mexican Studies in the University of California, San Diego and a post-doctoral fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University. She studies comparative political behavior using survey and experimental methods as well as ethnographic techniques. Her dissertation explores why and when citizens decide to exit a clientelistic political system. More generally, how programmatic alternatives to informal intermediation and partisan brokerage may (or may not) improve citizen-state relations, mechanisms of accountability and ultimately, citizens’ political engagement during and off elections. With the support of MIT GOV/LAB, she conducted a field experiment to explore the role of partisan brokers and clientelism in accessing state services in 150 rural villages in the state of Yucatan, Mexico.
News August 2017
Off-center Middlemen: Biased Brokers in Mexico
GOV/LAB intern Siena Harlin (Wellesley ‘18) reports back on clientelistic culture in Mexican government from two months of fieldwork in Yucatán, Mexico
News September 2017
Innovation in Transparency Award Given to GOV/LAB Partner Participando por México
The winning website, Ciudadano Contigo, provides first-ever online access to local government welfare programs and eligibility information for Mexican citizens.
News November 2017
Second Political Behavior of Development Conference at MIT
We convened a second annual PBD conference on what determines citizen expectations of the state, support for justice, electoral and nonelectoral participation, and bureaucratic behavior.
News April 2018
MIT News Features GOV/LAB Research Fellow Tesalia Rizzo
Tesalia Rizzo's graduate research in Mexico "Breaking Up With Political Brokers, Citizens May Find Electoral Independence" was featured in MIT News.