Marcela Velasco

Contact Information

Phone: (970) 491-5942


Office: Clark C 336

Role: Faculty

Position: Associate Professor

  • Comparative Politics


I teach in the areas of comparative government, Latin America, and environmental politics. My research interests include ethnic politics, ethnic social movements and local governance, territorial politics, environmental justice,  and institutional change in Latin America in general and Colombia in particular. Before joining the Political Science Department at CSU, I taught at the Universidad de los Andes, Universidad del Rosario, and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia.


Ph.D. Boston University


2015. Injustice and Organization in Anchicayá, Colombia: An Environmental Legal Case in a Hydropower Watershed. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability.

2015. Social Movement Contention in Colombia: 1958-2010. In Almeida, Paul and Allen Cordero, eds. Handbook of Social Movements across Latin America. Springer.

2014. The Territorialization of Ethno-political Reforms in Colombia: Chocó as a Case Study. Latin American Research Review 49(3): 126-152.

2011. Confining Ethnic Territorial Autonomy in Colombia: The Case of the Naya River Basin. Journal of Environment and Development 20(4): 405-427.

2011. Contested Territoriality: Ethnic Challenges to Colombia's Territorial Regimes. Bulletin of Latin American Research 30(2): 213–228.

2011. Democracy, Governance and Social Movements in Colombia: 1990-2006. In Tanaka and Jácome, eds. Challenges to Democratic Governance: Political and Institutional Reforms and Social Movements in the Andean Region. Translated by Jane Guppy and Gordon Hart. Lima: IEP, IDRC, IVESP, 183-210.

2007. Los efectos de la Constitución de 1991 sobre la protesta social en Colombia: un análisis estadístico. Revista Colombiana de Sociología 28: 73-93.

Marcela Velasco and Gamze Çavdar. 2013. Teaching Large Classes with Clickers: Results from a Teaching Experiment in Comparative Politics. PS: Political Science and Politics 46(4): 823-829.


POLS 442: Environmental Politics in the Developing World - Syllabus

As more countries join the global economy, production and consumption patterns are changing, intensifying the use of land and natural resources, and raising worries about the environmental sustainability of current models of economic development. This course examines environmental politics in developing countries focusing on questions of climate change, economic development, natural resource governance and environmental justice. These concerns involve multiple political actors and contradictory agendas on who should access natural resources, under what terms, and towards what ends.

POLS 541: Political Economy of Change and Development - Syllabus

This seminar reviews theoretical and empirical debates on the relationship between politics and economics in developing countries. In the course of the semester we will evaluate different perspectives on development and assess their explanatory potential.