Political Institutions

A Section of the Latin American Studies Association

Section Annual Reports

Section Business Meeting Report 2020

Political Institutions and Processes Section (LAPIS)

By Jennifer Cyr (Section Chair)

• Business Meeting:

On Friday, May 15, 2020, at 17h30, the Political Institutions and Processes (LAPIS) Section of LASA met for its annual business meeting. A total of sixteen people participated. The meeting served as a sort of re-launch of the section. Our goal was to discuss new activities and review section awards, as well as introduce a new award.

Toward that end, at that meeting we introduced the Executive Council, to serve the 2020-21 year. We provided an update on our section’s finances and membership numbers. We announced a new award—we will be granting two travel grants at $500 each for the next Congress. In discussions with members, we decided to grant three travel grants for the next meeting.

• New ideas:

We also brainstormed new ideas to support current members and recruit new ones. We discussed the possibility of organizing a series of (virtual) presentations on issues related to political institutions in Latin America. We discussed updating the website and working with other like sections in other organizations on collaborative projects. We are hoping to move forward on these three action items in the year to come.

• Awards:

We announced two awards. The first award was from the 2017-2018 cycle. The Donna Lee Van Cott Book Award for the best book on political institutions in 2017-18 was awarded to Alisha Holland (Harvard University) for her book, Forbearance as Retribution: The Politics of Informal Welfare in Latin America. The jury that unanimously chose her book included Tiffany Barnes, John Polga-Hecimovich, and Peter Siavelis.

The second award was from the 2019 LASA Congress for the best paper presented at the conference on political institutions. The award was presented to Luis Schenoni (University of Notre Dame) for his paper, entitled “Bringing War Back In: Victory and State Formation in Latin America.” The jury that unanimously chose his paper included Rodrigo Barrenechea, Andrés Mejía Acosta, and Gisela Sin.