Alberto Diaz-Cayeros joined the FSI faculty in 2013. He was the Director of the Center for Latin American Studies from 2016 to 2023. From 2008 to 2013 he was Associate Professor at the University of California, San Diego, and Director of the Center for US-Mexico Studies. He was an assistant professor of political science at Stanford from 2001-2008, before which he served as an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Diaz-Cayeros has also served as a researcher at Centro de Investigacion Para el Desarrollo, A.C. in Mexico from 1997-1999. He earned his Ph.D at Duke University in 1997. His work has focused on federalism, poverty and violence in Latin America, and Mexico in particular. He has published widely in Spanish and English. His book Federalism, Fiscal Authority and Centralization in Latin America was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007 (reprinted 2016). His latest book (with Federico Estevez and Beatriz Magaloni) is: The Political Logic of Poverty Relief Electoral Strategies and Social Policy in Mexico (2016).

Academic Appointments

Honors & Awards

  • Senior Fellow, Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health (2015-Present)
  • Premio al Merito Profesional ITAM Sector Academico, Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) (2006)
  • Victoria Schuck Faculty Scholar, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University. (2007-2008)
  • Award for the Best Dissertation in Political Economy, American Political Science Association (1998)
  • Award for the Best Paper presented in the 2000 meeting by the Comparative Politics Section, American Political Science Association (2000)
  • Visiting Fellow, Harvard University (1996-August 1997)
  • Dissertation Grant, Institute for the Study of World Politics (ISWP) (September 1993-August 1994)
  • Distinction in Preliminary Examinations, Duke University (March 1993)
  • Field Research Grant in Mexico,, Tinker Foundation, the Center of Latin American Studies at Duke (August 1992)
  • Field Research Grant in Czechoslovakia, Center for International Studies at Duke (June-July 1992)
  • James B. Duke International Fellowship, Duke University (1990-1993)
  • Fulbright Fellowship, U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (1990-1992)
  • Ford-MacArthur Fellowship, Ford-MacArthur (1990-1992)
  • High Honors, ITAM (1990)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Member of the Editorial Board, Política y Gobierno (1997 - 2004)
  • Member of the External Evaluation Board, the Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economica (CIDE) (2009 - 2011)

Program Affiliations

  • Center for Latin American Studies

Professional Education

  • Ph.D., Duke University, Political Science (1997)
  • M.A., Duke University, Political Science (1993)
  • Licenciatura, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), Economics (1990)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Comparative Politics, Political Economy, International Political Economy, Poverty, Rule of Law, Political Party Development


  • The Governance of Public Health in Mexico, Stanford University

    To promote a public health agenda in Mexico that emphasizes patient empowerment and high quality health services provision for the poor. Finding solutions to governance failures undermining public health, through the dissemination of research findings among scholars, NGOs and policy makers.



  • Criminal Violence, Security and Poverty, Stanford University

    To build up critical capacity at Stanford for the understanding of criminal violence in developing countries, its causes and consequences, and the design of practical solutions for increasing security among the poor.


    Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

  • Master's Program Advisor
    Lola Amaya, Katie Christman, Ruslan Dzyubailo, Cydni Gordon, Anna Kalinsky, Myles Somerville, Dana Stepleton, Elena Vasilache

All Publications

  • Barriers to Egalitarianism: Distributive Tensions in Latin American Federations LATIN AMERICAN RESEARCH REVIEW Beramendi, P., Rogers, M., Diaz-Cayeros, A. 2017; 52 (4): 529–51

    View details for DOI 10.25222/larr.31

    View details for Web of Science ID 000416740400002

  • Presidential Approval and Public Security in Mexico's War on Crime LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS AND SOCIETY Romero, V., Magaloni, B., Diaz-Cayeros, A. 2016; 58 (2): 100-123
  • Authoritarian Survival and Poverty Traps: Land Reform in Mexico WORLD DEVELOPMENT Albertus, M., Diaz-Cayeros, A., Magaloni, B., Weingast, B. R. 2016; 77: 154-170
  • The Beheading of Criminal Organizations and the Dynamics of Violence in Mexico JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION Calderon, G., Robles, G., Diaz-Cayeros, A., Magaloni, B. 2015; 59 (8): 1455-1485
  • The Mexican War on Drugs: Crime and the Limits of Government Persuasion INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PUBLIC OPINION RESEARCH Romero, V., Magaloni, B., Diaz-Cayeros, A. 2015; 27 (1): 125-137
  • The Beheading of Criminal Organizations and the Dynamics of Violence in Mexico Journal of Conflict Resolution Gabriela, C., et al 2015

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0022002715587053

  • Traditional Governance, Citizen Engagement, and Local Public Goods: Evidence from Mexico WORLD DEVELOPMENT Diaz-Cayeros, A., Magaloni, B., Ruiz-Euler, A. 2013; 53: 80-93
  • Traditional Governance, Citizen Engagement and Local Public Goods: Evidence from Mexico World Development Díaz-Cayeros, A., Magaloni, B., Euler , A. R. 2013
  • AIDING LATIN AMERICA'S POOR JOURNAL OF DEMOCRACY Diaz-Cayeros, A., Magaloni, B. 2009; 20 (4): 36-49
  • Buying - off the Poor: Effects of Targeted Benefits in the 2006 Presidential Race Consolidating Mexico’s Democracy: The 2006 Presidential Campaign in Comparative Perspective Díaz-Cayeros, A., Estevez, F., Magaloni , B. Johns Hopkins University Press . 2009
  • Aiding Latin America's Poor Journal of Democracy Diaz-Cayeros, A., Magaloni, B. 2009; 20, 4
  • Consilidating Mexico's Democracy Díaz-Cayeros, A., Estévez, F., Magaloni, B. 2009
  • Electoral risk and redistributive politics in Mexico and the United States 62nd Annual Meeting of the Midwest-Political-Science-Association Diaz-Cayeros, A. SPRINGER. 2008: 129–50
  • Federalism, Fiscal Authority, and Centralization in Latin America Díaz-Cayeros , A. Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics. 2006
  • Clientelism and Portfolio Diversification: a Model of Electoral Investment with Applications to Mexico Magaloni, B., Díaz-Cayeros, A., Estévez, F. 2006
  • Federalism, Fiscal Authority, and Centralization in Latin America Diaz-Cayeros, A. Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics. 2006
  • Endogenous institutional change in the Mexican senate Meeting of the Latin-American-Political-Science-Association Diaz-Cayeros, A. SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2005: 1196–1218
  • Coalition building strategies and fiscal dependence in Mexican federalism POLITICA Y GOBIERNO Diaz-Cayeros, A. 2004; 11 (2): 231-?
  • Party dominance and the logic of electoral design in Mexico's transition to democracy Annual Meeting of the Public-Choice-Society Diaz-Cayeros, A., Magaloni, B. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD. 2001: 271–93
  • Party Dominance and the Logic of Electoral Design in Mexico's Transition to Democracy Journal of Theoretical Politics Magaloni, B., Diaz-Cayeros, A. 2001; 13