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Lycoming College will welcome the Latin America Symposium’s second speaker Julio Ríos-Figueroa, Ph.D., to share his expertise in the workings of empirical law in a talk entitled “Law and Politics in Challenging Times.” The talk will be held Thursday, March 2, at 4:30 p.m., in the Trogner Presentation Room, in the Krapf Gateway Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Ríos-Figueroa’s work and studies focus on comparative judicial politics, the rule of law, and empirical legal studies, specifically in the Latin America region. His work leans toward an understanding of how the judicial systems of various democratic countries work, and thus how to confront the corruption built into their systems, while also appreciating the good that they can do. This view guides his major publications, including his critically acclaimed book, “Constitutional Courts as Mediators. Armed Conflict, Civil-Military Relations, and the Rule of Law in Latin America,” where Ríos-Figueroa highlights the ability of constitutional courts to resolve conflict between civilian government and militaries, because of their ability to act as impartial intermediaries.
During the 2022-23 academic year, Ríos-Figueroa is serving as Fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., where his research project, “What Makes Institutions (Not) Work?” focuses on how the quid-pro-quo patronage systems established in Mexican courts during its authoritarian reign continue to affect the court system even after a switch to democracy. Much like with the talk he will present, Ríos-Figueroa uses this research as a way to help the general public more deeply understand how the justice systems work and how they are supposed to work for the people.
Ríos-Figueroa graduated from New York University with a doctoral degree in politics, and works as the associate professor for the department of law at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City.
With generous support from the Provost’s Office, Lycoming College is hosting the Latin American Identity(ies) Symposium during Spring 2023. Latin America is a transcultural, multilingual, and multiethnic region with a long history of human occupation. It has become a laboratory for new imaginaries to face problems specific to postcolonial societies, such as poverty, inequality, violence, and current global issues, such as environmental crises. This interdisciplinary, semester-long symposium features three guest speakers that will present snapshots of the transformative power of historically marginalized voices in allowing people in the territories to seek changes through new narratives and positioning inclusion as the guiding principle of social, political, cultural, and economic changes. The lenses of different disciplines show how the region addresses these new and old challenges, abandoning the idea of universal formulas.