Images above: People and public spaces, Brazil, 2008-2009.

Amy Erica Smith photo

I am an assistant professor of political science at Iowa State University. In my research, I investigate how citizens in developing countries learn the political information, attitudes, and behavior that make democracy work. They do so, I find, through informal social ties, religious organizations, and civic education programs. With a regional focus on Latin America and especially Brazil, I am particularly interested in how women and racial and religious groups identify their interests and mobilize to get democratic representation.

My work has appeared or will appear in a number of peer-reviewed outlets, including the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies. My research has been supported by Fulbright and by the National Science Foundation, and I am proud to be a friend to (and research affiliate of) the Latin American Public Opinion Project. In 2016-2017 I will be a Visiting Fellow at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies.