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School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Emilia Simison, PhD (MIT)


Lecturer in Latin American Politics

Room Number: ArtsOne, 2.22A
Twitter: @emisimison
Office Hours: Monday 16:00-17:00 and Thursday 16:00-17:00 (in person or online). In person, just drop in. For other times or virtual meeting please book via the link below.


My research focuses on the comparative political economy of policymaking and policy change. Using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods, I analyze how political institutions across regime types shape the extent to which citizens and interest groups influence policymaking, and how that affects policy outputs. As part of this research agenda, my current book project explores the relationship between regime types and public policies to better understand how, and under which conditions, policy change takes place as a consequence of regime type transitions.

I hold a PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where I specialized in Comparative Political Economy and Methodology. I also received an MA from Torcuato Di Tella University (UTDT) and a BA from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), both in Political Science. Prior to QMUL, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research (CIPR) at Tulane University, a PhD fellow at CONICET working at Gino Germani Research Institute, and taught at MIT, UBA and UTDT.

Office hour booking link


Research Interests:

  • Political Economy
  • Political Institutions
  • Authoritarian Politics
  • Latin American Politics
  • Public Policy

Examples of research funding:

Juan Linz Prize for Best Fieldwork in the Comparative Study of Democracy Fellowships & Autocracy, Democracy & Autocracy Section, APSA, 2023

Smith Fellow, Mercatus Center and Liberty Fund (2021-2022)

Summer Study Fellowship, Center for International Studies, MIT, 2021

Graduate Woman of Excellence, Office of the Dean for Graduate Education, MIT, 2019

Research Grant, MIT Science and Technology Initiative, 2017

Luksic Fellowship, Political Science, MIT, 2016-2017, 2020

Travel Grant, Latin American Studies Association, 2014

Martín Lardone Award for Research on Federalism, Intergovernmental Relations and Public Policy, Argentinean Society of Political Analysis, 2013

International Seminar for Young Leaders, Fulbright Commission Argentina, 2012


Peer-Reviewed Articles in English:

Garay, Candelaria, and Emilia Simison. 2022. “When Mayors Deliver: Political Alignment and Wellbeing.” Studies in Comparative International Development 57 (3): 303-36.

Simison, Emilia. 2022. “Supporters and Opposition in Authoritarian Legislatures.” Journal of Legislative Studies 28 (1): 47-66.

Bonvecchi, Alejandro, and Emilia Simison. 2022. “Lawmaking in Personal Dictatorships: Evidence from Spain.” Journal of Legislative Studies, Online: 05 Jan 2022

Simison, Emilia and Lukas Wolters. 2019. “Divided cities, divided parties. Measuring the effect of intra-party conflict on electoral performance.” Revista SAAP 13 (1): 137-56.

Simison, Emilia. 2017. “Nation or My District? Evaluating the Territorial Scope of Bills through Experimental Designs.” Journal of Politics in Latin America 9 (2): 93-120.

Bonvecchi, Alejandro, and Emilia Simison. 2017. “Legislative Institutions and Performance in Authoritarian Regimes.” Comparative Politics 49 (4): 521-39.

Book Chapters in English:

Mainwaring, Scott, and Emilia Simison. 2022. “Economic Crises, Military Rebellions, and Democratic Survival: Argentina, 1983-2020” in Democracy in Hard Places, edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek Masoud, 188-227. Oxford University Press.

Bonvecchi, Alejandro, and Emilia Simison. 2020. “Fiscal Federalism and Lawmaking under Authoritarianism: Institutional Design and Economic Policy in Argentina's Last Dictatorship” in The Argentinian dictatorship in perspective. Rethinking the ‘proceso’, edited by Juan Grigera and Luciana Zorzoli, 93-121. Palgrave Macmillan.

Simison, Emilia. 2019. “Legislatures and Representation in Latin American Politics” in Oxford Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics (online). Oxford University Press.

Simison, Emilia and Daniel Ziblatt. 2018. “The Power and Limits of Federalism” in A Research Agenda for New Institutional Economics, edited by Claude Ménard and Mary M. Shirley, 27-33. Edward Elgar Publishers.

Peer-Reviewed Articles in Spanish:

Garay, Candelaria, and Emilia Simison. 2023. “Argentina 2022: Desafíos profundos y continuidad política.” Revista de Ciencia Política (Chile), Online: 31 Jul 2023

Bonvecchi, Alejandro, and Emilia Simison. 2017. “Una dictadura sin centro: historia y ciencia política en la interpretación del Proceso de Reorganización Nacional.” Revista SAAP 11 (1): 129-46.

Simison, Emilia. 2015. “Descentralización y Partidos Políticos en América Latina: un estado de la cuestión.” Revista Ciencia Política (Colombia) 10 (20): 243-65.

Simison, Emilia. 2015. “Distribuyendo transferencias discrecionales: Argentina entre la centralización fiscal y la desnacionalización del sistema de partidos.” Revista SAAP 9 (1): 93-118.

Simison, Emilia. 2014. “Estrategias distributivas presidenciales en contextos cambiantes de centralización fiscal y nacionalización partidaria.” Revista de Ciencia Política (Chile) 34 (3): 561-82.

Book Chapters in Spanish:

Simison, Emilia. 2021. “Experimentos en las Ciencias Sociales" in Metodología de la investigación social: Caja de herramientas, edited by Mariana Caminotti and Hernán Pablo Toppi (eds.), 127-151. EUDEBA

Simison, Emilia. 2017. “Distribución de transferencias con distinto nivel de discrecionalidad en un contexto de centralización fiscal y desnacionalización del sistema de partidos” in La relación fiscal Nación-Provincias: lo que se discute, lo que falta discutir, edited by Marcelo Garriga and Walter Rosales, 75-111. UNLP.


Latin America, Authoritarian politics, Authoritarian legislatures, Political Institutions, Policymaking, Social Policy, Political Economy

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