Omar García-Ponce

Garcia Ponce Headshot

Omar García-Ponce

Assistant Professor of Political Science



Office Phone: (202) 994-7591

Omar García-Ponce is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at The George Washington University. He writes and teaches on the causes and consequences of various forms of intrastate organized violence that are prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, ranging from local criminal gangs to armed rebellions and transnational organized crime groups. His regional expertise is in Latin America and he also teaches courses on US-Mexico relations and Latin American politics. 

His scholarly work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Peace ResearchPolitical Science Research and Methods, and World Politics, among other journals. This research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development, the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research, and implemented in collaboration with local governments and civil society organizations. 

He received his PhD in Political Science from New York University in 2016 and a B.A. in Politics and Public Administration from El Colegio de México in 2006. Before joining GW, he was an Assistant Professor at UC Davis and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC. He is a member of the Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP) network. 

Political economy of development; political violence; organized crime; political behavior; Latin American politics

Professor García-Ponce’s primary line of research examines the causes and consequences of contemporary forms of intrastate organized violence, with a particular emphasis on organized crime in Latin America. He has conducted several survey and field experiments in Mexico over the past few years. From a methodological perspective, his main interests are in experimental and quasi-experimental designs. 



IAFF 3187 - Mexico Since Independence

PSC 3192W - Political Economy of Violence

PSC 3500 - US-Mexican Relations

PSC 3500 - Politics of Crime & Violence

PSC 8101 - Introduction to Empirical Political Analysis

“Critical Junctures: Independence Movements and Democracy in Africa” (with Leonard Wantchekon). 2023. American Journal of Political Science.
“Anger and Support for Retribution in Mexico’s Drug War” (with Lauren Young and Thomas Zeitzoff). 2023. Journal of Peace Research 60(2): 274–290.


“Who is to Blame? Youth Crime and Attribution of Responsibility in Urban Mexico.”(with Isabel Laterzo, Vivan Bronsoler, Elisa Lavore, and Shahriar Kibriya). 2023. Journal of Criminal Justice.
“Organized Criminal Syndicates and Governance in Mexico and Central America.” 2023. Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science.
“Peace and Health: Exploring the Nexus in the Americas” (with Adnan Hyder, Natalia Ambrosio, and Lorena Barberia). 2022. BMJ Global Health.
“Are Voters Too Afraid to Tackle Corruption? Survey and Experimental Evidence from Mexico” (with Thomas Zeitzoff and Leonard Wantchekon). 2021. Political Science Research and Methods 9(4): 709–727.
“Trump-induced Anxiety among Latina/os” (with Bradford Jones and seven other collaborators). 2021. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 24(1): 68–87.
“Why Ethnic Subaltern-Led Parties Crowd Out Armed Organizations: Explaining Maoist Violence in India” (with Kanchan Chandra). 2019. World Politics 71(2): 367–416.
“From Maize to Haze: Agricultural Shocks and the Growth of the Mexican Drug Sector” (with Oeindrila Dube and Kevin Thom). 2016. Journal of the European Economic Association 14 (5): 1181– 1224.
“Partisan Losers’ Effects: Perceptions of Electoral Integrity in Mexico” (with Francisco Cantú). 2015. Electoral Studies 39: 1–14.
“Cross-Border Spillover: U.S. Gun Laws and Violence in Mexico” (with Arindrajit Dube and Oeindrila Dube). 2013. American Political Science Review 107 (3): 397–417.

Ph.D., New York University, 2016

M.A., New York University, 2009

B.A., El Colegio de México, 2006