Peter Siavelis

Peter Siavelis is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at Wake Forest University.  He is also the founder and on-campus director of Wake Forest’s study abroad program in Santiago, Chile. 

Siavelis received his PhD in Government from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.  Siavelis is an expert in electoral, legislative and presidential politics in Latin America (with a particular focus on Chile and Argentina), and also specializes in Latino Immigration to the United States.  

His publications include books entitled The President and Congress in Post-authoritarian Chile, Pathways to Power: Political Recruitment and Candidate Selection in Latin America (edited with Scott Morgenstern), and he is co-editor of Getting Immigration Right: What Every American Needs to Know with David Coates. His research currently focuses on political recruitment and candidate selection in Latin America.

Siavelis has been published widely, writing on topics including candidate selection, immigration, and Latin American politics in numerous journal articles and book chapters including articles in Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Party Politics, Latin American Research Review and Latin American Politics and Society. He has contributed to and been quoted in a number of media outlets including the New York Times, NPR, O Globo (Brazil) and Chilean newspapers such as La Tercera and El Mercurio.

Siavelis’ teaching interests include comparative governments, Latin American politics, international political economy, and the design of democratic institutions. He has held visiting teaching appointments in Chile and Spain.

Research Interests: 


Comparative Governments, Latin American Politics, International Political Economy, Design of Democratic Institutions.