Brian Wampler, a political science professor at Boise State, spent three weeks in northeast Brazil, conducting interviews for an ongoing book project. The work was done with the support of master’s of public administration student Ana Costa and former Boise State professor Mike Touchton, who is currently an assistant professor at the University of Miami.
While in Brazil, Wampler and his team analyzed how local democracies influence human development and social well being, in order to better understand how democratic practices affect the quality of people’s lives.
“Our research demonstrates how democratic practices influence social well-being,” Wampler said. “The basic argument is that public policies work better when citizens are engaged in designing policies as well as monitoring impact. Our research demonstrates how democratic participation, robust social policy protection and state capacity interact to improve people’s lives.”
Costa was responsible for first developing a bibliography of three case studies – or three municipalities – in Brazil. She then wrote up case studies of each municipality. Once in Brazil, Costa identified interview candidates and set up interviews, as well as helped conduct interviews with more than 45 people (roughly 15 people per city).
While in Brazil, Wampler also was involved in hosting an academic conference at the Federal University of Espirito Santo, located in Vitoria, Brazil. Wampler participated on three panels and was part of the conference’s closing panel. In addition, Wampler and Touchton gave a joint talk at the Joaquin Nabouco Foundation, which is a federal think-tank in Recife.