Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Photographer: onbekend

dr. I. (Imke) Harbers

  • Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
    Programme group: Transnational Configurations, Conflict and Governance
  • Visiting address
    REC BC
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 166  Amsterdam
    Room number: B9.05
  • Postal address:
    Postbus  15578
    1001 NB  Amsterdam
    T: 0205252163


I am associate professor of political science at the University of Amsterdam and a research fellow at the Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (Cedla). Before coming to Amsterdam, I obtained my PhD from Leiden University (2010) and I was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for US-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego. My research focuses on subnational political institutions, state capacity, decentralization and democracy, with a regional emphasis on Latin America. My dissertation was nominated for the annual thesis award of the Dutch Political Science Association (NKWP) and in 2009, I received the Rudolf Wildenmann Prize of the European Consortium for Political Research.


My current research project “Neither Dwarf nor Leviathan: Explaining Territorial and Functional Variation in State Capacity” is funded by a Marie Curie grant from the European Commission. The project examines why states invest more in building capacity in some regions of a country than in others, and why the coercive and caring capacity of states is geographically uneven.



Selected Publications


Forthcoming. "Incorporating Space in Multimethod Research: Combining Spatial Analysis with Case-Study Research", PS: Political Science & Politics (with Matthew C. Ingram)


2017. "Geo-Nested Analysis: Mixed-Methods Research with Spatially Dependent Data", Political Analysis, Vol. 75(3), pp. 289-307. (with Matthew C. Ingram)


2017. "Spatial Effects and Party Nationalization: The Geography of Partisan Support in Mexico", Electoral Studies, 47, pp. 55-66.


2016. "A Battle for Hearts and Minds? Citizens’ Perceptions of Formal and Irregular Governance Actors in Urban Jamaica", Política y Gobierno, Volume XXIII, No. 1, pp. 97-123. (with Rivke Jaffe & Victor Cummings)


2015. " Taxation and the Unequal Reach of the State: Mapping State Capacity in Ecuador", Governance, 28(3), 373-391. (link to online appendix at the bottom of this page)


2014. “ States and Strategy in New Federal Democracies: Competitiveness and Intra-Party Resource Allocation in Mexico”, Party Politics, 20(6), 823-835.


2014. “ Democratic Institutions Beyond the Nation State: Measuring Institutional Dissimilarity in Federal Countries”, Government and Opposition, 49(1), 24-46. (with Matthew C. Ingram) 


2013. “ Attitude Variability among Latin American Publics: How Party System Structuration Affects Left/Right Ideology”, Comparative Political Studies, 46(8), 947-967. (with Catherine E. de Vries & Marco R. Steenbergen)


2012. “ On the Local Politics of Administrative Decentralization: Applying for Policy Responsibilities in Ecuador”, Publius - The Journal of Federalism, 42(1), 52-77. (with Jörg Faust)


2010. “ Decentralization and the Development of Nationalized Party Systems in New Democracies: Evidence from Latin America”, Comparative Political Studies, 43(5), 606-627.


2007. “ Democratic Deepening in Third Wave Democracies: Experiments with Participation in Mexico City”, Political Studies, 55(1), 38-58.






  • Harbers, I., Jaffe, R., & Cummings, V. J. N. (2016). A battle for hearts and minds? Citizens’ perceptions of formal and irregular governance actors in urban Jamaica. Política y Gobierno, 23(1), 97-123. [details] [PDF]
  • Harbers, I., Jaffe, R., & Cummings, V. J. N. (2016). ¿Una lucha por corazones y mentes? Percepciones ciudadanas y actores de gobernanza formales e irregulares en la Jamaica urbana. Política y Gobierno, 23(1), 97-125. [details] [PDF]


  • Harbers, I. (2015). Taxation and the unequal reach of the state: mapping state capacity in Ecuador. Governance: an international journal of policy, administration and institutions, 28(3), 373-391. DOI: 10.1111/gove.12117 [details]


  • Harbers, I. (2014). States and strategy in new federal democracies: competitiveness and intra-party resource allocation in Mexico. Party Politics, 20(6), 823-835. DOI: 10.1177/1354068812458611 [details]
  • Harbers, I., & Ingram, M. C. (2014). Democratic Institutions Beyond the Nation State: Measuring Institutional Dissimilarity in Federal Countries. Government and Opposition, 49(1), 24-46. DOI: 10.1017/gov.2013.20 [details]
  • Harbers, I., & Ingram, M. C. (2014). On the engineerability of political parties: evidence from Mexico. In I. van Biezen, & H-M. ten Napel (Eds.), Regulating political parties: European democracies in comparative perspective (pp. 253-277). Leiden: Leiden University Press. [details]


  • Harbers, I., de Vries, C. E., & Steenbergen, M. R. (2013). Attitude variability among Latin American publics: how party system structuration affects left/right ideology. Comparative Political Studies, 46(8), 947-967. DOI: 10.1177/0010414012454409 [details]


  • Faust, J., & Harbers, I. (2012). On the local politics of administrative decentralization: applying for policy responsibilities in Ecuador. Publius - The Journal of Federalism, 42(1), 52-77. DOI: 10.1093/publius/pjq046 [details]


  • Harbers, I. (2010). Decentralization and the development of nationalized party systems in new democracies: evidence from Latin America. Comparative Political Studies, 43(5), 606-627. DOI: 10.1177/0010414008330285 [details]




  • Harbers, I. (2016). Centralisatie en autoritarisme. In C. Klaufus, & P. van Lindert (Eds.), Latijns-Amerika: Een regio in beweging LM Publishers. [details]


  • Harbers, I. (2011). [Review of: H. Kitschelt, K.A. Hawkins (2010) Latin American party systems]. Acta Politica, 46(1), 86-89. DOI: 10.1057/ap.2010.32 [details]


  • Harbers, I. (2010). [Review of: G.W. Grayson (2010) Mexico: narco-violence and a failed state?]. Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe, 89, 161-163. [details]


  • Faust, J., Arneth, F., von der Goltz, N., Harbers, I., Illerhues, J., & Schloms, M. (2008). Political Fragmentation, Decentralization and Development Cooperation: Ecuador in the Latin American Context. Bonn: German Development Institute. [details]


  • Harbers, I., & Ingram, M. C. Replication Data for: Geo-Nested Analysis: Mixed-Methods Research with Spatially Dependent Data DOI: 10.7910/DVN/HRLHA4 [details]


  • Harbers, I. (2011): Shortlisted NKWP Jaarprijs.
  • Harbers, I. (2011): Best paper award, Decentralization and Subnational Governance Section, Latin American Studies Association.
  • Harbers, I. (2009): Rudolf Wildenmann Prize.

Media appearance

  • Harbers, Imke (07-02-2017): Hysterie hilft nicht gegen Terror [Print] Nordwest Zeitung. Hysterie hilft nicht gegen Terror.

Keynote / invited lecture

  • Harbers, Imke (speaker) (6-6-2017): Rendering Citizens Legible: Birth Certificates as a Measure of State Capacity, Center for US-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego.


  • Harbers, Imke (organiser) & Steele, A.A. (organiser) (2017): The subnational state in Latin America. Institutions, citizenship and regime type within and across states (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications.
  • Netherlands Association of LA and C stud

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