Diana Dávila Gordillo

Assistant Professor of Politics

Lake Forest College

I am an Assistant Professor of Politics at Lake Forest College. Before joining the college, I was a lecturer at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University, where I also received my Ph.D. I am a researcher in comparative politics working on political institutions and representation with Latin America as my regional focus. My research and teaching lie at the intersection of representation, identity, ethnicity, and institutions. I deploy a broad set of methodological tools in my work, chiefly qualitative methods (e.g., interviews, participant observation, and discourse analysis), which I combine with various other methodologies, including natural language processing, network analysis, and experimental methods.

I study party organizations: a) their survival, b) their linkages to voters, and c) the determinants of candidate selection (gender perspective). I also study group identity construction (at the individual and group level) and how these identities affect party formation and persistence, the linkages between parties and voters, and inter-group relations.

I specialize in teaching qualitative methods at the graduate level, introductory and mid-level seminars on Introduction to Comparative Politics, Women’s Representation, and Latin American Politics, and advanced-level seminars on political parties and democracy with a regional focus in Latin America. My work is entirely bilingual: I research, write, and teach in English and Spanish.

Before starting my career in academia, I served at the Ecuadorian Mission to the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington D.C. as Second Secretary Alternate Representative of Ecuador. I joined the Permanent Mission in July 2012. My work there concentrated on the negotiation of Inter-American Human rights conventions.


  • Political parties’ survival
  • Political parties’ mobilization strategies
  • Women’s representation
  • Ethnic parties / Ethnic identities
  • Qualitative methods


  • PhD in Political Science, 2021

    Leiden University

  • MSc in Political Science (cum laude), 2015

    Leiden University

  • BSc in Sociology with a minor in Political Science, 2011

    Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador



Archival Work





Peer reviewed articles

Abad, A., Aldaz, R., Davila Gordillo, D., Vallejo Vera, S. (2022). “Un deja-vu no esperado: la política ecuatoriana en 2021.” Revista De Ciencia Política. doi

Abad, A., Aldaz, R., Davila Gordillo, D., Vallejo Vera, S. (2021). “Believe in me: Parties’ Strategies During a Pandemic.” Journal of Politics in Latin America 13(3), 419-441. doi

Book Chapters

Davila Gordillo, D., & Wylie, K., (2021). Party leadership and institutionalization in Latin America. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Oxford University Press. doi

Davila Gordillo D. & Ragazzi F. (2017). The Radicalisation Awareness Network: Producing the EU counter-radicalisation discourse In: Carrera S., Mitsilegas V. (Eds.) Constitutionalising the Security Union Effectiveness, Rule of Law and Rights in Countering Terrorism and Crime. Brussels: Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). 54-63. PDF

Under review

Semi-supervised machine-learning models to detect covert and overt racism in large corpora (with Sebastián Vallejo Vera and Joan C. Timoneda)

Working Papers

The surprising new votes for Pachakutik in 2021: the indigenous voters, and segmented mobilization strategies. Paper manuscript

Who votes for Pachakutik? Ethnic voting in Ecuador. Paper manuscript.

The Ecuadorian paradox of recognition: the fragmentation of the indígena category. Paper manuscript with Frank de Zwart.

Polarization and Party-System Populism: the Case of Ecuador. Paper manuscript with Angélica Abad, Raúl Aldaz, and Sebastián Vallejo.

The missing women of the electoral process. Paper manuscript with Sebastián Vallejo

Non-peer reviewed publications

Davila Gordillo, D. (2021). Elecciones presidenciales en el Ecuador: flashback al pasado y un futuro incierto . In Voz y Voto.

Abad, A., Aldaz, R., Davila Gordillo, D., Vallejo, S., (2021). Ecuador: cómo diferenciarse cuando compites con 16 candidatos . Agenda Pública


Research Projects

Principal investigator, project: “Attitudes towards Venezuelan migrants among the Ecuadorian youth: Challenging the criminalization of immigrants”. Project funded by the EGAP LATAM Regional Hub Small Grants Fund

Data Projects

Data on Ecuadorian political parties for The Political Party Database country coordinator with Sebastian Vallejo Vera

Ecuadorian Electoral Data: 2021 Election with Sebastian Vallejo Vera

Geo-Party-Links Ecuador 2021 with Angelica Abad, Raul Aldaz, and with Sebastian Vallejo Vera. Data on mobilization strategies used by parties and candidadres during the 2021 national election in Ecuador (forthcoming).


Lake Forest College


Introduction to Comparative Politics

Women, Institutions, and Politics

Latin American Politics


Introduction to Comparative Politics (x3)

Women, Institutions, and Politics

Latin American Politics

Leiden University

Master Seminars

2021 - 2022

Lecturer: Qualitative Research Methods (x2)

2020 - 2021

Lecturer: Qualitative Research Methods (x4)

2019 - 2020

Lecturer: Qualitative Research Methods (x2)

Bachelor Seminars

2021 - 2022

Lecturer: Bachelor Project Seminar: Democracy in Latin America

Lecturer: Introduction to Comparative Politics (x2)

2020 - 2021

Lecturer: Bachelor Project Seminar: Democracy in Latin America

2019 - 2020

Lecturer: Party Politics in Latin America

2018 - 2019

Lecturer (x3) Academic Skills: Introduction to Political Science


Lecturer (x4) Academic Skills: Critical Review

Lecturer (x3) Academic Skills: Book Review


Lecturer (x3): Workgroups of International Security

Lecturer (x3): Workgroups of Comparative Analysis of Political Systems


Human Rights in the Inter-American System

As Second Secretary Alternate Representative of Ecuador to the Organization of American States (OAS) I was assigned as principal negotiator of Inter American Conventions of Human Rights and as one of the Ecuadorian representatives at the Committee of Juridical and Political Affairs (CAJP) of the OAS Permanent Council.

I was involved in the final negotiations of the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance A-68, and the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance A-69 which were negotiated at the same time. Both Conventions were adopted and open for signature at the 2013 OAS General Assembly in Antigua Guatemala. Ecuador signed both conventions during the General Assembly.

I was also part of the the negotiations of the Inter-American Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons which was adopted in 2015 during the OAS General Assembly in Washington D.C., USA. Ecuador ratified the Convention in March 2019.