Dr. Pablo Policzer

Dr. Pablo Policzer



Contact information

Phone number

Office: +1 (403) 220-5923

I'm looking for...

Learning opportunities

I am keen to learn more about governance broadly understood, especially from a complex systems perspective.


Educational Background

B.A. Political Science, University of British Columbia, 1989

Doctor of Philosophy Political Science, Massachusetts Inst of Tech, 2001


Areas of Research

Comparative Poliitcs of Latin America

I am broadly interested in Latin American politics. This includes an interest in the evolution of violent conflict -- especially among armed actors such as militaries, police forces, and non-state armed groups -- in authoritarian and democratic regimes. In recent years I have also begun to study the possibilities of collaborative governance in extractive industry areas, especially involving indigenous communities, and through a complex systems lens.

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
POLI 415 LEC 01 01 Politics through Film 2021
POLI 473 States and Regimes in Latin America Winter 2023
POLI 359 Introduction to Comparative Politics Winter 2023
POLI 201 Introduction to Politics and Government Fall 2022
POLI 673 Comparative Politics: Theories and Methods Fall 2022


Collaborative governance in the extractive sector in Latin America

Together with partners across disciplines in different parts of the region, this project explores the possibility of understanding and developing less technocratic and more collaborative forms of governance in the extractive sector in Latin America. There is increasing consensus that in order to tackle big problems such as climate change we need to figure out how to collaborate across regions and disciplines. There has also been a global normative shift in the direction of more participation, consultation and even consent in the extractive industry, especially involving Indigenous communities. Yet the precise ways in which more collaborative forms of governance might work remain to be determined. We aim to do so by drawing inspiration from these normative shifts along with insights from complex systems theories. While this project is in its early stages, it will form a core part of the inquiry in a new course on Complex Governance, to be offered for the first time during the 2023-24 academic year.


  • CPSA Comparative Politics Prize, 2010
  • Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title, 2009
  • Tier II CRC in Latin American Politics, 2005


In the News

More Information


Beatrice Yeung, M.A. candidate (Political Science)
Clarice Rocha, M.S.S. candidate (Strategic Studies)


Dr. Adriana Rincón, Ph.D., Global Governance, University of Massachusetts, Boston. Postdoctoral Fellow (Political Science), 2020-23
Dr. Alberto Montoya Correa, Ph.D. International Relations, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil. Postdoctoral Fellow (Political Science), 2019-2021

Dr. Ricardo Vernet, "Peasants, Movements, and the Survival of Democracy in Haiti and Nicaragua," Ph.D. (Political Science), 2022.
Dr. Mariana Hipólito Ramos Mota, "From Delegation to Limits on Presidential Power: Brazil in Comparative Perspective," Ph.D. (Political Science). Winner of Department of Political Science Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation, 2017
Dr. Alex D. McDougall, "The Politics of Protection and Extraction: An Examination of the Origin and Development of State Power in Latin America," Ph.D. (Political Science), 2011, co-supervised with Stephen Randall

Alem Cherinet, "Violence, Causality, and the Emergence of Mexico's General Law on Forced Disappearance," M.A. (Political Science). Winner of Departmet of Political Science Award for best M.A. Thesis, 2021.
Jeanne Liendo, "The Political Economy of the Hydrocarbon Sector: Bolivia and Venezuela in Comparative Perspective," M.A. (Political Science), 2019
Maria Ford, "A Violent Symbiosis: Gangs, the State, and the Rise in Crime in São Paulo," M.A. (Political Science), 2014
Tobey Berriault, "Unusual Suspects: Religion, Chieftaincy, and Post-Conflict Reintegration in Sierra Leone," M.A. (Political Science), 2013, co-supervised with Maureen Hiebert
Olivia Rocskar, "The Roots of Democratic Participation: The Historical Legacies of the Polish Partition," M.A. (Political Science), 2013
Tammy Lambert, "Deepening Divides: Emergent Consequences of Rwanda’s Reconciliation Initiatives," M.A. (Political Science), 2011
Juliana Ramírez, "Rethinking the Link Between Civil Society and Civil War: the Case of Colombia," M.A. (Political Science), 2008
Alejandro García Magos, "Presidential Power and Democracy in Mexico," M.A. (Political Science), 2008

Kimberly Pavelich, "Gender Biases and Armed Conflict: Assessing the Reintegration Experience of Women from the LRA," M.S.S. (Strategic Studies), 2013, co-supervised with Hrach Gregorian
Milos Dimic, "Viable Conflict Resolution: Lessons Learned from the Ituri District in the Democratic Republic of Congo," M.S.S. (Strategic Studies), 2011, co-supervised with Hrach Gregorian
Juliette González, "Militarizing the War on Drugs: The Influence of the Colombian Government in Shaping the Design of Plan Colombia," M.S.S. (Strategic Studies), 2011
Timothy S. Cake, "The Impact of Military Culture and Doctrine on Colombia’s Counterinsurgency," M.S.S. (Strategic Studies), 2009

Laura Silva Aya, "Peace vs. Land? Understanding the 2016 Colombian Plebiscite," B.A. (Honours, Political Science), Winner of Department of Political Science Award for Best Honours Thesis, 2017
Stefan Parker, "Water and Gold: Conflict and Corporate Social Responsibility in Peru's Mining Sector," B.A. (Honours, Political Science), Winner of Department of Political Science Award for Best Honours Thesis, 2015
Holly Ann Penny, "Australia and Canada Compared: Asylum Seekers Arriving by Boat," B.A. (Honours, Political Science), 2013
Noureddin Zaamout, "Targeted Killing: Static Policy in a Dynamic World," B.A. (Honours, Political Science), 2013
Andrea Sellinger, B.A. (Honours, Political Science), 2009
Ryan King, B.A. (Honours, Political Science), 2009
Aris Ablachim, B.A. (Honours, Political Science), 2008
Gustavo Baena, B.A. (Honours, Political Science), 2008
Jan Boesten, B.A. (Honours, Political Science), 2007
Esteban Kahs-Garay, B.A. (Honours, Law and Society), 2007
Andrea Bures, B.A. (Latin American Studies), 2005
Karen Huggins, B.A. (Latin American Studies), 2005
Kaylie LaChapelle, B.A. (Honours, Political Science), 2005