Daniela Barba-Sanchez


Daniela Barba-Sánchez is a Ph.D. candidate in politics and social policy, with a specialization in comparative politics. During the 2019-2020 academic year, she is a graduate fellow at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies and an honorary fellow at Princeton's Program in Latin American Studies. 

Her dissertation research tries to understand the circumstances affecting the actions taken by the state security institutions—i.e., why and when the security apparatus may be biased and misused for the protection of private interests. More broadly, she is studying how grand strategies against crime may affect the autonomy of the state. 

The research looks at the actions followed by the Mexican state in its fight against organized crime and the degree to which they violate human rights. She pays attention particularly to how the state responds to different forms of social participation and to the organized opposition against extractive projects, in contexts with varying degrees of violence. 

Daniela relies on a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. Using historical literature as well as interviews with human rights advocates, security experts, and state authorities at different levels and branches of the government, she designs and interprets the statistical analysis of human rights complaints-based data, GIS mapping of extractive projects, and an original survey. In addition to measuring political and social capital variables, this survey identifies, through survey experiments that protect the anonymity of the respondents, the experience and propensity to report human rights violations.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, she was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for U.S. Mexican Studies at UC San Diego. Her dissertation project has been possible thanks also to the generous support from the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice, the Program in Latin American Studies, the Institute for International and Regional Studies, and the Survey Research Center at Princeton University. 

Research Interests: Government accountability, political violence, human rights, civil-military relations, transitional justice, regime politics, political inequality and corruption