Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

Lead Research Fellow | Head of RP 1

  • Short CV

    • Since summer term 2021: extraordinary Professor for "Democratic Institutions in the Global South" at the University of Erfurt; project "Democratic Institutions in the Global South" at GIGA

    • 08/2018 - 04/2021: Deputy equal opportunity commissioner at the GIGA

    • Since 05/2015: Head of RP 1 "Accountability and Participation"

    • 2014 - 2015: Acting Head of GIGA’s Research Program 1 “Legitimacy and Efficiency of Political Systems”

    • 2009 - 2015: Speaker of the Research Team "The Politics of Courts and Constitutions", at GIGA’s Research Programme 1 "Legitimacy and Efficiency of Political Systems"

    • Since 2006: Researcher, GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies

    • 2001 - 2004: Project Researcher, Institut für Iberoamerika-Kunde, Hamburg

    • 2000: Visiting researcher, Universität Augsburg

    • 1993 - 1998: D.Phil. thesis in Political Science

    • Education: D.Phil in Politics, University of Oxford, St. Antony's College, U.K.; Postgraduate Programme on Social and Political History, Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Licenciatura in Political Science; Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Current Research

    • Political institutions in Latin America

    • Presidentialism

    • Latin American congresses

    • Latin American courts

    • President-Congress relations; president-court relations

    Countries and Regions

    • Latin America

    • Argentina

    • Brazil


    • Journal of Politics in Latin America


    • Founders Award 2015

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    T. +49 (0)40 - 428

    Democratization | 2022

    Contested, Violated but Persistent: Presidential Term Limits in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa: Introduction to Special Issue

    The term limits of presidents as a crucial institutional feature to safeguard democracy have often been contested by incumbents. The authors of this article argue that bringing together knowledge on Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa provides new empirical and theoretical insights.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    Democratization | 2022

    Sequences of Presidential-Term-Limit Reforms: Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa

    In this article the authors take a longitudinal view on presidential-term-limit reforms in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa since the third wave of democratization. Many countries (re)introduced the measure as a democratic safeguard against abuse of power; since then, it has been repeatedly challenged.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 4/2021

    The Political Limits of Presidential Impeachment: Lessons from Latin America

    In presidential democracies, impeachment proceedings are an important mechanism for controlling executive powers. GIGA expert Prof. Mariana Llanos and Prof. Leiv Marsteintredet show in the GIGA Focus that impeachment proceedings can, however, also open the door to party-political interests and opportunism.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    Prof. Dr. Leiv Marsteintredet

    Congress & the Presidency | 07/2021

    Impeaching the President: Mapping the Political Landscape in the House of Representatives

    The authors' main objective is to explain why and under what conditions legislators (co-)support impeachment resolutions against the president of the United States. We examine the impact of political, institutional and economic variables on the behaviour of legislators.

    Ass. Prof. Dr. Christopher Martínez

    Prof. Dr. Raymond Tatalovich

    Research Project | 15/01/2022 - 14/12/2024

    COVID-19 and Executive Personalization in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the MENA Region

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, political leaders reacted by containment measures that, next to combating the spread of the pandemic, also presented a window of opportunity to bolster executives’ personal grasp on power. Personalization of power has been particularly worrying in the Global South where constraints on the chief executives were often already weak prior to the pandemic. This project assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the personalization of executive power in 36 countries of the Global South.
    DFG, 2021-2024

    Research Project | 01/05/2021 - 30/04/2026

    Democratic Institutions in the Global South

    This project contributes new knowledge on the functioning of democratic institutions in the Global South, their (in)efficacy to constrain powerful executives, and the effects of particular institutions on both democratic quality and regime stability. The focus is on countries with presidential constitutions, i.e., those with directly elected presidents, an institutional choice that extended worldwide in the last decades.
    Leibniz Competition, 2021-2026

    Research Project | 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2021

    Presidents Who Die Too Soon and Presidents Who Live Too Long. Term Limits and Succession in Presidential and Semi-Presidential Regimes

    This cooperation project researches two important rules defining the presidential mandates, i.e. presidential term limits and succession rules, and their intersection in the presidential regimes of Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.
    DAAD/PPP, 2019-2021

    Estadão | Quote | 12/07/2021

    Quem “merece” um impeachment?

    WortMelder. Der Forschungsblog der Universität Erfurt | Interview | 25/05/2021

    Dürfen wir vorstellen? Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos…

    Speaker | 11/01/2022

    Bicameralismo o Unicameralismo

    Seminar 11/01/2022

    Esta actividad académica tiene como propósito debatir las ventajas y desventajas de los diseños bicamerales y unicamerales en la experiencia comparada, así como el rol institucional del Senado en el caso chileno. Se analizarán casos tales como: Australia, Alemania, Francia, Estados Unidos, Reino Unido y países de América Latina, junto con una discusión pormenorizada del caso nacional. Con lo anterior, se persigue aportar con insumos al debate sobre el régimen político.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    Speaker | 02/12/2021

    Court-executive relations under the pandemic

    Cooperation Event 02/12/2021

    Paper presentation

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    Panelist | 02/12/2021 - 03/12/2021

    Latin American Democracies in Crisis

    Workshop 02/12/2021 - 03/12/2021

    RedGob Workshop: Latin American Democracies in Crisis. Causes, Processes, and Remedies

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    Teaching | University of Erfurt | 2021

    Democratization and Autocratization in the Global South

    University of Erfurt Erfurt

    According to the latest Freedom House’s report, global democracy is in further decline, with the number of countries experiencing deterioration outnumbering those with improvements by the largest margin since this negative trend began to be observed 15 years ago. In this course, students are familiarized with three successive developments in global democracy as well as with the political science concepts and literature that have accompanied these trends: first, the inception of the third wave of democratization in the 1970s-1990s; second, democratic recession and problems in the quality of consolidating democracies; third, developments leading to democratic erosion and backsliding. Students will learn to work with key concepts and indicators related to each of these trends. They will work with case studies.

    Teaching | Universität Hamburg | 2014

    Presidential Power and Its Limits

    Universität Hamburg Hamburg

    Teaching | Universität Hamburg | 2010

    Latin American Presidentialism in Comparative Perspective

    Universität Hamburg Hamburg


    Sign up to receive email notifications about GIGA activities

    Social Media

    Follow us