Gretchen Helmke

Gretchen Helmke

Associate Professor of Political Science

Department Chair

PhD, Chicago, 2000. Comparative Politics. Professor Helmke's research focuses on comparative political institutions, democratization, the rule of law, and Latin American politics. She has published two books, Courts Under Constraints: Judges, Generals, and Presidents in Argentina (Cambridge University Press 2005), and Informal Institutions and Democracy: Lessons from Latin America (Johns Hopkins University Press 2006), co-edited with Steven Levitsky. Her articles have appeared in American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Comparative Politics, Desarollo Economico, Annual Review of Political Science, Electoral Studies, Perspectives on Politics, and American Journal of Political Science (forthcoming). She is currently working on two book-length projects, Institutions on the Edge: The Origins and Consequences of Institutional Instability in Latin America (Cambridge University Press, under contract) and Courts in Latin America, co-edited with Julio Rios-Figueroa (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). She teaches courses on Latin American politics, democratic regimes, judicial politics, and comparative political institutions. Her paper (co-authored with Alex Debs), “Inequality Under Democracy: Explaining the ‘Left Decade’ in Latin America” has received the Kellogg Notre Dame Award for the Best Paper in Comparative Politics presented at the 2009 meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association.

Courses