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.
Projects March 2018
Unpacking the Black Box of Government Decision-Making
What incentivizes local officials to respond to citizen needs and demands? What constraints, motivations, and considerations influence the behavior of bureaucrats?
Projects August 2016
When Clients Exit: Alternatives to Clientelism in Accessing State Services in Mexico
GOV/LAB is conducting a field experiment to explore the role of brokers and clientelism in accessing state services in Mexico.