Manuel Balán



I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science and the Institute of Study of International Development at McGill University in Montréal, Québec. 

My main area of research is Comparative Politics, with a regional emphasis in Latin America. I am particularly interested in issues of corruption and development, political competition, politics of the media and scandals, transparency and anti-corruption policies, political parties and political systems, constitutional design, and research design.

In 2011 I defended my doctoral dissertation at UT Austin, on corruption scandals and dynamics of political competition, both at the party system level as well as within the government party or coalition. Specifically, my thesis intended to understand the political determinants of corruption scandals: why do scandals come to light? Under what conditions are scandals more likely to occur? In order to answer these and other related research questions, I analyzed the cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, from 1989 to 2007. An article based on this work, “Competition by Denunciation: The Political Dynamics of Corruption Scandals in Argentina and Chile,” appeared in the July edition of the Journal of Comparative Politics in 2011.

I am also a researcher for the Comparative Constitutions Project, directed by Profs. Elkins and Ginsburg. This project investigates the sources and consequences of constitutional choices. Towards this end, we are collecting data on the formal characteristics of written constitutions, both current and historical, for most independent states since 1789. More information can be found in

Prior to moving to the northern hemisphere I received a Law Degree in Argentina, where I also worked on Transparency Policies at the Anti-Corruption Office.