Diana Rodriguez-Franco

Advisor: Mahoney

Areas of Interest

sociology of comparative development, comparative and historical sociology, political and economic sociology, sociology law and globalization, taxation, state building, human rights, Latin America


Dissertation Committee:

James Mahoney (Chair), Bruce Carruthers, Carol Heimer, Monica Prasad


Current Research

Diana Rodríguez Franco is a PhD candidate in Sociology from Northwestern University. She holds a M.A. (Sociology) from Northwestern University, a J.D. from the University of Los Andes (Colombia) and a B.A. in Economics from the same school. Her work focuses on the political economy of development, comparative environmental politics, comparative and historical sociology, sociology of law and human rights, and political sociology, with a focus on Latin America. Her publications include “Dependency Theory” (with James Mahoney, forthcoming), “Globalizing Intellectual Property Rights: The Politics of Law and Public Health” (2012), and Courts and Social Change: How the Constitutional Court Transformed Internal Displacement in Colombia (with Cesar Rodríguez, 2010, in Spanish.) She is a research associate at the Center for the Study of Law, Justice, and Society (Dejusticia) in Bogota, Colombia.

Her master’s thesis entitled “Internal Wars, Taxation, and State Building” addresses the question of whether internal wars can build states. It offers a new conceptual framework for understanding the effects of internal wars on state building, as measured through taxation. The leverage provided by this framework is demonstrated through a case study of Colombia.

Her doctoral work engages with the tension between development and environmental conservation. It asks why some developing countries protect the environment while others prioritize extraction and explores how different forms of land governance shape those outcomes. To do so, it focuses on the Colombian and Peruvian Amazon regions; two areas that given their geographic, political, and historical similarities one would expect to behave similarly yet show sharp differences in levels of oil activity.



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November 14, 2014