Edgar Vivanco

Data Science Fellow

Michigan Institute for Data Science

I am a political scientist with a focus on Latin America. I am a collaborator with the Poverty, Governance, and Violence Lab at Stanford University, and with the Digging Early Colonial Mexico project at the University of Lancaster.
In my research agenda, I explore how colonial-era institutions and contemporary criminal violence shape economic under-performance. My book project Strategies of Indigenous Resistance and Assimilation to Colonial Rule examines the role that Indigenous groups have played in the state-building process of the region since colonial times. As a MIDAS postdoctoral fellow, I plan to advance this project by implementing machine learning techniques to analyze thousands of colonial court records and maps, some of them dating from the 16th century.
My examination of contemporary development challenges focuses on criminal violence and policing. In this collaborative project (with Prof. Beatriz Magaloni), I draw on extensive fieldwork in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to explore the problems of crime, social order and policing. I study the differentiated effects of state interventions against organized criminal groups. During my tenure as a MIDAS fellow I plan to implement text analysis algorithms on a dataset of anonymous calls reporting criminal activity.