María Aránzazu Rodríguez is a first year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Politics. She received her B.Sc. in Economics from la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and an M.P.A. in International Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science. During the past 4 years, she has been working as Senior Research Associate and Project Development Coordinator for Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) in Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia. During her time at IPA, she managed five different RCTs and a qualitative project which seeks to understand armed-group governance, the market structure of urban gangs, and how, if possible, to transition from armed groups to state rule with non-violent strategies.

Rodríguez’s research interests span from conflict and armed groups to informal governance institutions in state and peace-building to state capacity and development. These lie at the intersection of comparative politics, political behavior, international relations, and political economy of development. She is particularly interested in exploring the role that bounded rationality and misinformation can play as recruitment and motivation mechanisms for urban gangs.

Selected Honors and Awards

Princeton Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) Lassen Fellow. 2018-19