María Isabel Puerta Riera

María Isabel Puerta Riera


I am a Visiting Professor of Political Science (August 2021- May 2022), teaching U.S. Government, State and Local Government, and International Politics at Valencia College; and instructor of Sociology at Ana G. Méndez University.

I am a Research Fellow at GAPAC, currently working on Sharp Power in Latin America, and the effects of authoritarianism on exiled communities.

I was Associate Professor of Political Science at Universidad de Carabobo where I taught for 18 years, chaired Public Management, and coordinated the Research Group on Politics and Institutions.

My research focuses on democratic backsliding, authoritarian and populist experiences in Latin America. My first book, The debate between the models of representative and participatory democracy. Theoretical conceptual elements (2010), recounts the theoretical foundations of democracy, and the transition from the representative to the participative model in Venezuela. My second book Institutions and State in Venezuela. Chronicles of the Venezuelan institutional crisis (2011), reflects on the democratic erosion in Venezuela under the rule of Hugo Chávez. My third book: The crisis of democracy: on the threshold of post-democracy? , edited both in Spanish (2021) and English (2022), reviews the trajectory of the concept of crisis of democracy in political philosophy.

My research interests are democratic backsliding, hybrid regimes, authoritarianism, populism, and immigration in Latin America. My teaching interests are comparative politics, Latin American politics, comparative democratization, international politics, and immigration.

I have published articles on the effectiveness of economic sanctions; populism, and autocratization under the pandemic; analyzed the Colombian government’s strategy against Nicolás Maduro, co-author Omar Ocampo; political models and participation in Latin America, co-author Armando Chaguaceda; Venezuela’s crisis of democracy; authoritarian decay in Venezuela, co-author Armando Chaguaceda; the crisis of democracy in political theory; Venezuelan hybrid regime, co-author: Armando Chaguaceda, communal councils in Venezuela,  the crisis of democracy and representation in Venezuela.

My work has been published in:  NACLA, PROGRAMA CUBA, Foro Cubano Revista de divulgación, Revista Demo Amlat, Democracia Actual, Development, Diálogo Político, Revista Espiral, Revista Mexicana de Análisis y Administración Pública, Revista Observatorio Laboral.

I received a Doctorate in Social Sciences and a M.A. in Political Science and Public Administration from the Universidad de Carabobo in Venezuela.

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Valencia College

Contact information:

3255 Pleasant Hill Road
Kissimmee, FL 34746
+1 (407) 582-6062

Prof. Maria Puerta Riera

Visiting Professor – Political Science