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Department of Political Science

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

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Jordan Holsinger

Office: Bellamy 543
Email Address:

Degree Program:


Areas of Interest:

NGOs, Latin America, courts, and repression

Research Activites:

Jordan Holsinger is a PhD candidate who studies NGOs, Latin America, courts, and repression. Prior work in the NGO sector in Latin America informs his research interests. His dissertation asks how regimes negotiate the tradeoff between NGOs providing goods and NGOs strengthening civil society. He uses a signaling model that highlights different NGO types and the information asymmetry between NGOs and regimes. NGOs wish to execute their goals and regimes that try to avoid risky or problematic NGOs. He tests predictions from the model with a quasi-experimental dataset from Nicaragua. He employs a natural experiment design to show that increased regime sensitivity to NGO costs encourages NGOs to adjust their activities in ways that reduce their negative externalities and bolster authoritarian consolidation. Other projects of his include a book manuscript, Can Courts be Bulwarks of Democracy?, (with Jeffrey Staton and Christopher Reenock), which shows how judiciaries incentivize elites to engage in forbearance. This project leverages new data, including an update of Latent Judicial Independence (Holsinger, J., D.A. Linzer, C.M. Reenock and J.K. Staton (2017). Judicial Independence Dataset, 1948- 2015. Emory University). The working project Missing Tools from the Repression Toolbox (with Kimberly Frugé) explains state repression through institutional variation at the subnational level in Mexico. Different institutional arrangements empower constituents with varying abilities to hold politicians accountable for repression and executives respond in kind with repression tactics that maximize control and minimize consequences of electoral accountability.

Courses Taught:

  • Developing Area Politics.
  • Latin American Politics.
  • Introduction to Comparative Governments and Politics.