Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school

Search

Consuelo Thiers

Consuelo Thiers
Name
Consuelo Thiers
Title
Organisation
Politics and International Relations School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Address
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Telephone
+44 (0) 749 156 0106
E-Mail
Research Interests
Political psychology, Foreign Policy Analysis, Latin American Foreign Policies, At-a-distance personality assessment of political leaders
URL
http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/gradschool/community_and_representation/research_student_profiles/politics_and_ir/consuelo_thiers

PhD Title

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

Research project

My research aims to contribute to the understanding of the life cycle of enduring rivalries. In Latin America, it is possible to observe enduring rivalries, mostly related to territorial disagreements, that are maintained over time, producing and reproducing persistent contestations among states. My research focuses on the long-lasting conflict between neighbouring countries Bolivia-Chile and Chile-Peru.

The enmity between these countries is reflected, at present, in the absence of diplomatic relations (Chile-Bolivia), constant disagreements, hostile rhetoric, threats and three lawsuits filed before the International Court of Justice. Regardless of the overall negative relationship, these rivalries have had periods of escalation and de-escalation over time. An element that has not been thoroughly explored is the role of political leaders, advisors and public servants in shaping the life cycle of these conflicts. In this sense, my research aims to help explain the variation of these rivalries through the analysis of decision-makers' beliefs.   

The method to perform the analysis will rely on the analysis of documents (mainly speeches delivered by Presidents and Foreign Affairs Ministers) and the information collected through interviews with political leaders, advisors and public servants.

Documents will be analysed using the at-a-distance assessment technique. This technique has been developed to carry out evaluations of political leaders' personality and is based on the idea that psychological characteristics can be assessed through a systematic analysis of what leaders say. Within the wide-ranging variety of these sort of procedures, I will utilise the cognitive Operational Code framework. This approach intends to determine decision-makers’ philosophical and instrumental beliefs concerning the nature of the political universe and their preferences regarding the political action. 

The interviews conducted with advisors and public servants will be examined through qualitative analysis. 



Supervisors 

Prof. Juliet Kaarbo and Prof. Kristen Hopewell

Qualifications

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 and research experience

  • Tutor on Introduction to Politics and International Relations, University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2017)
  • Research Assistant for Dr Sebastien Dubé, Universidad de Santiago de Chile. Assisted in carrying out an investigation project related to the analysis of integration processes in Latin America, using concepts of social psychology (2015-2016)
  • 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)

Awards

  • Politics and International Relations Career Development PhD Scholarship (2016-2018). University of Edinburgh.
  • Thesis research grant, Universidad de Chile (2012).

Publications

Dubé, Sebastien & Thiers, Consuelo (2017). Social Group Dynamics and Patterns of Latin America Integration Processes. Revista de Estudios Sociales, (60). 25-35. https://dx.doi.org/10.7440/res60.2017.02

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. https://doi-org.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/10.1177/1478929917712906

Languages

Spanish - native speaker

English - fluent

Membership

International Studies Association- ISA

Latin American Studies Association- LASA

International Society of Political Psychology- ISPP

Society for Latin American Studies-SLAS