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Welcome!

My name is Manuel Meléndez-Sánchez. I am a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Harvard University, where I am affiliated with the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA).

I study contemporary challenges to democracy, with a focus on Latin America. My dissertation examines what I call criminal electioneering: deliberate attempts by criminal organizations to influence elections.

My research and writing have appeared in the Journal of Democracy, Lawfare, Slate, and the Washington Post. I have consulted for the World Bank and for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

At Harvard, I have taught courses on formal theory, research design, organized crime, and comparative politics. In 2021, I received the Derek C. Bok Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching of Undergraduates.

I have an A.B. from Harvard College and an M.Sc. from Oxford, where I was a Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholar and a member of St. Antony’s College. I was born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador.

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