Maria Puerta-Riera, Ph.D.

Valencia College

City: Orlando, Florida - 32837

Country: United States

About Me:

I am a Political Scientist, with a master's in Political Science and Public Administration, and a doctoral degree in Social Sciences, with a major in Cultural Studies. I have extensive teaching experience in the fields of Humanities and Social Sciences, in the Master’s Degree Program in Political Science and Public Administration of the Universidad de Carabobo and the Social Security Graduate Program at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, teaching Venezuelan Political System, Governance and Democracy, Public Administration Process and Public Policy Analysis, and undergraduate courses of Public Administration and Public Policy. I have experience in research, reflected in the published books and book chapters, peer-reviewed articles, and addresses in academic conferences. I have conducted fieldwork as a Research Assistant as well as a Principal Researcher and Coordinator in different stages of the process in regional, national and international research projects. I have used different tools, software and techniques, from Microsoft Office to SPSS; I have applied surveys, analyzed results and coordinated the work of more than fifty experts consulted in international studies. My background is fundamentally related to higher education, and although my education was completed in Venezuela, the combination with my most recent experience allows me to have a broader perspective with respect to the diverse population that seeks to complete their higher education in extremely qualified institutions in the United States.

Research Interests

Non-Democratic Regimes

Comparative Democratization

Latin American And Caribbean Politics

State and Local Politics

Public Administration

Specific Areas of Interest

Democratization And Authoritarianism

Authoritarian Politics

International Democracy Promotion

Democratic Governance

Democratic Theory

Latin American Politics

Countries of Interest



My Research:

Latin-American politics have always been unstable, and democracy has been elusive. It seems necessary to improve the efforts in the region to strengthen the institutions that make sure democracy is more than a label. Yet, not only there have been failures in the domestic policies of each country but the regional community has done very little to address these issues. One of the main interests in my current research is to identify what has led to the abandon of democracy development and funding, and the search for more assertive strategies to strengthen institutional capability in Latin America, as a resource aimed to help rebuild a democratic governance environment, benefitting the region with tools to overcome its weaknesses.


Journal Articles:

(2018) Venezuela: The Decline of a Democracy, Development

Tags: Latin American And Caribbean Politics, Non-Democratic Regimes

The political crisis in Venezuela has been aggravating for the past 5 years; the economic imbalance has increased the chances of social disintegration while government focuses on holding to power. The institutional deterioration provides forms of control consistent with the authoritarian model in detriment of the values and principles of a democracy that was once a model for stability in Latin America.

Book Chapters:

(2017) Counter-democratization and political crisis in Venezuela: the end of the XXI Century Socialism experiment in Latin America?, Godofredo Vidal de la Rosa

Tags: Latin American And Caribbean Politics, Non-Democratic Regimes, Comparative Democratization

Authors: Armando Chaguaceda and María Isabel Puerta

(2016) Democratic governance in Venezuela: trajectories and present, Editions Fontamara

Tags: Latin American And Caribbean Politics, Non-Democratic Regimes, Comparative Democratization

Trajectory of the crisis of democracy in Venezuela and current state of the country

(2016) Venezuela in 2015: political conflict, social tensions, IHEAL

Tags: Latin American And Caribbean Politics, Non-Democratic Regimes, Comparative Democratization

Authors: Armando Chaguaceda and María Isabel Puerta

Media Appearances:

Newspaper Quotes:

(2019) Efecto Cocuyo

Political scientists pose AN scenario after # 5E

(2019) Efecto Cocuyo

Townhalls are an opportunity to integrate and build democracy, analysts say

(2018) Efecto Cocuyo

The decision by the NA is an exercise in political resistance, says political scientist

(2018) Efecto Cocuyo

The silence of the MUD reflects the crisis of representativeness, experts say

(2018) Efecto Cocuyo

Falcón and Bertucci have no muscle to build new opposition, experts say

(2018) Efecto Cocuyo

Death of Alban "derails" any attempt of dialogue between government and opposition, according to analysts


Analysts see “difficult” to reach agreements (VENEZUELA)

(2017) El Universal

Personalities of the country ask the President to "suspend" the Constituent (VENEZUELA)

(2016) Fox News

Venezuelans gather in record time more than 1M signatures to recall President Maduro