Associate Professor of Government



Office: HAR230

Click here to go to Dr. McNulty's website.



Dr. McNulty, author of Voice and Vote: Decentralization and Participation in Post-Fujimori Peru (Stanford University Press, 2011), is a Latin Americanist with expertise in decentralization, participatory governance, gender, and development. Voice and Vote explores the origin and implementation of a recent Peruvian decentralization reform that is considered to be one of the most participatory in Latin America.

Dr. McNulty is currently working on a second book about top-down participatory reforms in the developing world. This project evaluates the effect of national efforts to mandate citizen participation at the local level. These reforms are becoming more common in developing countries seeking to reduce the gap between dissatisfied citizens and unresponsive governments. The book tests the hypothesis that top-down national participatory reforms strengthen democratic governance over time. The project employs qualitative and quantitative research methods to document changes after these reforms and explore explanations for the outcomes observed. The first cross-national comparison on this issue, the study promises to contribute to both scholarly and policy debates about whether it is possible to mandate democracy from above.

Dr. McNulty has worked, lived, and conducted extensive fieldwork in Chile, Honduras, Peru, Bolivia, and Guatemala. She has a Ph.D. in Political Science from The George Washington University and a M.A. in Political Science from New York University. In addition to studying, teaching, and researching in several Latin American countries, Professor McNulty worked for several years in the field of international development as a program manager and a monitoring and evaluation specialist. This experience led her to work on many USAID-funded projects around the world, including Guatemala, Bolivia, Liberia, and Kosovo.




016. “Peru’s Participatory Decentralization Reform.” Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_2571-1 
2015. “Barriers to Participation: Exploring Gender in Peru’s Participatory Budget Process.” Journal of Development Studies 51(11). 1429-1443. 
2015. “Mandating Participation: Evaluating Guatemala’s Top Down Participatory Governance SystemPensamiento Propio 40. Special issue on “Citizen Participation in Latin America.

2014. “US helped create crisis along border.” The Philadelphia Inquirer. July 31.

2013. "Institutions of Participatory Governance: Latin America's Response to a Failing Party System." SpazioFilosofico 9: 415-427.

2013. “Participatory Democracy? Exploring Peru’s Efforts to Engage Civil Society in Local Governance.” Latin American Politics and Society 55, 3: 69-92.  Download PDF.

2012. “An Unlikely Success: Peru’s Top-Down Participatory Budgeting Experience,Journal of Public Deliberation 8(2), Article 4.

2011.Voice and Vote: Decentralization and Participation in Post-Fujimori Peru. Stanford University Press.  (Reviewed in Perspectives on Politics and Comparative Political Studies)

2011. “Does Participatory Governance Matter? Exploring the Nature and Impact of Participatory Reform,” co-authored with Brian Wampler. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC.

2011. “In leading women, U.S. lags.” The Philadelphia Inquirer A11, January 4.

2007. “Participación y sociedad civil: Las experiencias con los CCRs y los presupuestos participativos en el Perú.” In Aldo Panfichi (ed.) La Participación Ciudadana en el Perú. Disputas, confluencias y tensiones. Lima, Peru: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica.

2007.“Decentralization and Participatory Local Governance: A Decision Space Analysis and Application to Peru.” Co-authored with Jennifer and Derrick Brinkerhoff. In Dennis Rondinelli and Shabbir Cheema (eds.) Decentralizing Governance: Devolution, Capacity, and Partnership. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.


Professor McNulty has a Ph.D. in Political Science from The George Washington University and a M.A. in Political Science from New York University. She also has a B.A. in Politics from Washington and Lee University.

Grants & Awards

  • American Association of University Women American Postdoctoral Fellow. 2012-2013.
  • American Political Science Association’s Small Research Grant. 2012.
  • Faculty Hackman and Committee on Grants Awards. Franklin & Marshall College.
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award, Peru. November 2004 – October 2005.
  • Fulbright Scholar, Peru. January - October 2004.
  • Consortium for Qualitative Research Methods, Tempe, Arizona. January 2003.
  • George Washington University Fellow, George Washington University, Washington, DC. 1999-2002.
  • Research Fellow, PromPerú, Lima, Peru. 1996.
  • Rotary International Fellow, Santiago, Chile. 1992-1993. Graduate study at Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile.

Course Information

Introduction to Comparative Politics
Latin American Politics
Politics of Development
Politics, Poverty, Gender