Gretchen Helmke is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2000. She is a former Harvard Academy Scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International and Area Studies at Harvard University, and a former Visiting Fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Professor Helmke's research focuses on comparative political institutions, democratization, law and courts, and Latin American politics. Her first book, Courts Under Constraints: Judges, Generals, and Presidents in Argentina (Cambridge University Press 2005) examines court-executive relations under dictatorship and democracy. Her second book (co-edited with Steven Levitsky) Informal Institutions and Democracy: Lessons from Latin America (Johns Hopkins University Press 2006) explores how informal institutions shape the quality and stability of democracy in Latin America. Her articles have appeared in American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Comparative Politics, Desarollo Económico, Electoral Studies, Perspectives on Politics and Annual Review of Political Science.
She is currently working on a book-length project, Institutions on the Edge: The Origins and Consequences of Institutional Instability in Latin America (under contract, Cambridge University Press), an edited volume, Courts in Latin America (with Julio Ríos-Figueroa), and the Comparative Law Project. Professor Helmke is on the editorial board for the Journal of Politics. She teaches courses on democracy, Latin American politics, judicial politics, comparative political institutions, and parties and elections.
331 Harkness Hall
Department of Political Science
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627
tel: (585) 275-5236
fax: (585) 271-1616