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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Consuelo Thiers

Consuelo Thiers
Consuelo Thiers
Politics and International Relations School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0) 749 156 0106
Research Interests
Political psychology, Foreign Policy Analysis, Latin American Foreign Policies, At-a-distance personality assessment of political leaders

PhD Title

Not quite a Pacific Ocean: the role of leader's beliefs in shaping South American enduring rivalries

Research project

My research aims to contribute to the understanding of the life cycle of long-lasting conflicts between states in Latin America. My research focuses on the enduring rivalry between neighbouring countries Bolivia-Chile and Chile-Peru. The War of the Pacific that confronted these states (1879-1883) engendered tensions that persist today which are reflected in constant diplomatic impasses, hostile rhetoric, threats and three lawsuits filed before the International Court of Justice.

By utilising a socio-psychological approach, this research explores the role of political leaders’ beliefs and perceptions in shaping periods of escalation and de-escalation that these rivalries have undergone over the last twenty years.

The analysis relies on both interviews that were conducted with current and former key foreign policy decision-makers and on speeches delivered by presidents and foreign affairs ministers of the three countries. Interviews are examined using qualitative content analysis which has delivered information on foreign policy elite’s perception of the Self and Other. On the other hand, speeches are analysed utilising the at-a-distance assessment technique of political leaders which posits that psychological characteristics can be evaluated through a systematic analysis of what leaders say. Within the wide-ranging diversity of these sort of procedures, this project utilises the Operational Code framework which provides information on decision-makers’ beliefs concerning the nature of the political universe and their preference concerning political action.

This research is intended to make contributions to the literature on interstate protracted conflicts in Latin America, political psychology, and leadership analysis.  


Prof. Juliet Kaarbo and Dr Kristen Hopewell


M.A in International Studies, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Dissertation: “Latin American Political Leaders: A study of personality at-a-distance”

B.A in Psychology, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Teaching Experience

  • Tutor on Global Security, University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2019)
  • Tutor on Introduction to Politics and International Relations, University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2017-2018)
  • Lecturer in Psychological Assessment, Universidad SEK, Department of Psychology. Santiago, Chile (2014 – 2016)
  • Lecturer in Psychological Assessment, Universidad UNIACC, Department of Psychology. Santiago, Chile (2012 – 2016)
  • Lecturer in Personal Development, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Department of Early Childhood Education. Santiago, Chile (2013 – 2015)
  • Lecturer in Learning Psychology, Universidad Chileno-Británica de Cultura, Department of Education. Santiago, Chile (2013)
  • Lecturer in Learning Psychology and Psychological Development, Universidad Iberoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología, Department of Education. Santiago, Chile (2011 – 2013)

Research Experience

  • Research Assistant  (2018) for Dr Kristen Hopewell. University of Edinburgh.
  • Research Assistant (2015-2017) for Dr Sebastien Dube, Universidad de Santiago de Chile.


  • Politics and International Relations Career Development PhD Scholarship (2016-2018). University of Edinburgh.



  • The Sue Grant Service Awardcontribution to the community through extracurricular work. With Saskia Smellie and Dr Victor Gigleux (2018)


Dubé, Sebastien & Thiers, Consuelo (2017). Social Group Dynamics and Patterns of Latin America Integration Processes. Revista de Estudios Sociales, (60). 25-35.

Thiers, C. (2017, July 12) [Review of the book Latin America’s Leaders by R. Diamint & L. Tedesco]. Political studies review, 15 (4), 675-676.

Participation in Conferences

§  Thiers, C. (2018). Profiler Plus: Spanish translation of the Leadership Trait Analysis Coding Scheme. International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, San Francisco.

§  Dubé, S. and Thiers, C. (2017). Social Group Dynamics and Patterns of Latin American Integration Processes. International Society of Political Psychology Annual Scientific Meeting (ISPP), Edinburgh.

§  Thiers, C. (2017). Latin American Political Leaders: A study of personality at-a-distance. International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, Baltimore.

§  Dubé, S. and Thiers, C. (2016). When National Interests and Group Dynamics Clash: Latin American Integration Processes from a Political Psychology Perspective. LASA Conference, New York.

§  Dubé, S. and Thiers, C. (2016) Workshop: “regional processes and the changing state in Latin America”. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. 

Administrative Experience

Research Grant Administrator, Millenium Nucleus Center of Stochastic Models,  2014-2016.


Spanish - native speaker

English - fluent


Foreign Policy Analysis and Role research group. University of Edinburgh (co-convenor)

International Studies Association- ISA

Latin American Studies Association- LASA

International Society of Political Psychology- ISPP

Society for Latin American Studies-SLAS