Finance Government and International Relations Professor awarded Cum Laude

Paola Mantilla completed her PhD studies in Contemporary Political Processes at the University of Salamanca, Spain, with the highest recognition.

Her work, “Carreras políticas y producción legislativa: los casos de Chile, Colombia Uruguay” (Political careers and legislative production: the cases of Chile, Colombia Uruguay), was awarded a Cum Laude rating. Paola has a Master’s in Political Sciences from the University of Paris III-IHEAL and is a Professor at the Externado de Colombia University.

The objective of her research was to investigate how representatives’ political ambition affects their legislative behavior.

In the first part, Mantilla addresses the structure of careers, describes the trajectories of Senators and deputies; and, starting from there, and determines four types of ambition: static, progressive, standstill, and discreet.

The second part elaborates on congressmen’s behavior and proposes four indicators to measure the activities carried out in the Assembly and the district. The results indicate that ambition is one of the factors influencing the closeness representatives have with their constituents, their actions in the districts, and positioning instruments. Also, it allows comparing how tenure, belonging to the Government or the opposition, and electoral cycles, determine legislative work.

According to the Professor, her PhD, begun in 2011, provided her great academic-level knowledge and the ability to experiment with quantitative and qualitative techniques, necessary to learn her study subject in greater depth. “Also, personally, it helped me understand that work, always, must be performed with discipline and judiciously; without pressure, to never lose sight of the main objective,” said Mantilla.

The new doctor has been associated with the Externado since 2005, at the Institute for Development Studies.  She coordinated the Visión Journal, became part of the CIPE, in the Political Parties Research area, and lastly, as Professor of Compared Systems and Policies and Introduction to Political Sciences.

“I am currently on hiatus but plan to return to the University very soon and exploit all the empirical material of my thesis work and, from there, publish several articles. In the future, I would like to pursue a postdoctoral stay to clarify all the remaining doubts,” stated the Professor.

Paola Mantilla thanked the University for its support and stressed that without our House of Studies she would not have been able to complete her doctorate; first, because the Externado included her in the Professors’ scholarship program and also provided the time necessary to complete her studies.