The Global Initiative Network

GIN Member

Sandra Ley

Assistant Professor, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas

Sandra Ley is an assistant professor at the Political Studies Division at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE). Prior to her arrival at CIDE, she was a visiting fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Sandra studies criminal violence and political behavior. Her research focuses on the political consequences of criminal activity. Her most recent work examines how violence affects the activation of civil society, political participation and accountability.

Sandra’s work includes several sources of information. She conducted extensive fieldwork in the north and south of Mexico; she designed an original post-election survey and built a unique database on protests against crime and insecurity in Mexico. Together with Guillermo Trejo, a professor at the University of Notre Dame, she is also conducting a series of research projects on the institutional foundations of criminal violence and the logic of organized crime.

Her work has been published in Journal of Conflict Resolution, Comparative Political Studies, Latin American Politics and Society, Latin American Research Review, among other international academic journals. Sandra received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University in 2014.

  • Trejo, Guillermo and Sandra Ley. Forthcoming. “High-Profile Criminal Violence: Why Drug Cartels Murder Government Officials and Party Candidates in Mexico.” British Journal of Political Science.
  • Ley, Sandra, Shannan Mattiace, and Guillermo Trejo. “Indigenous Resistance to Criminal Governance. Why Regional Ethnic Autonomy Institutions Protect Communities from Narco Rule in Mexico.” Latin American Research Review 54(1): 181-200.
  • Ley, Sandra. 2018. “To Vote or Not to Vote: How Criminal Violence Shapes Electoral Participation.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 62(9): 1963-1990.
  • Trejo, Guillermo and Sandra Ley. 2018. “Why Did Drug Cartels Go to War in Mexico? Subnational Party Alternation, the Breakdown of Criminal Protection, and the Onset of Large-Scale Violence.” Comparative Political Studies 51(7): 900-937.
  • Ley, Sandra. 2017. “Security and Crime Issue Voting: Electoral Accountability in the Midst of Violence.” Latin American Politics and Society 59(1): 3-27.

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