A lot of new followers over the past weeks/months, and I've been wanting to do a thread on the kind of research I do, but I've never made the time. So here it goes, for those of you new to following me:
I'm an Associate Professor with the Methods Lab at the Latin American Faculty for Social Sciences (FLACSO) in their Mexico campus. Before that, I was an Assistant Professor in the Public Administration Division at CIDE, and before that a Lecturer at UBC Political Science.
I was a Visiting Professor at @IHEAL_CREDA in 2019, where I taught courses on International Development and Comparative Public Policy and Administration (strangely enough, I taught in Spanish in a French institution). I've taught full time in Mexico, Canada, and France.
Originally, I am a chemical engineer with two majors: chemical process design and food science. When I was an undergraduate, I thought I was going to do my PhD in chemical engineering (process control at University of Wisconsin Madison, or process engineering at MIT).
All my theses (undergrad, Masters, and PhD) have been heavily quantitative (undergrad), formal modeling (Masters), or mixed methods with a very strong quantitative core (PhD).

My PhD has a double concentration in human geography and political science.
Since I was an undergraduate, I've been obsessed with research methods. My undergrad thesis is a mathematical model of a bench-scale activated sludge wastewater treatment plant. I modeled the biodegradation kinetics of various wastewaters using a Cox proportional hazards model.
My Masters' thesis is a repeated games game theoretic model of collaboration and cooperation between large pharmaceutical companies and small biotechnology firms.

My PhD dissertation is an integrated assessment of industrial restructuring of cluster-type industries.
In my doctoral thesis, I developed a firm demographic model to understand decline in coupled industries (the economic geography of industrial decline). Which factors explained the variation in policy behaviour across two cities with intense industrial activity (leather/footwear)?
During my PhD, my advisor asked me to approach my research from an interdisciplinary perspective. I used a technique common in climate policy studies, Integrated Assessment, to develop a framework that would help explain how cities vary in their industrial policies in response...
... to multiple stressors (land use changes, zoning regulations, environmental regulations, changes in consumer behaviour and preferences, technological change). This required me to learn A LOT from MANY disciplines and fields. Economic geography, economic history, urban history.
I also took PhD-level courses in methods (qualitative and quantitative), urban geography, wastewater engineering, comparative politics, public policy, international relations.

While most people in the field of political science identify me as a comparativist, I also do IR stuff
This blog post explains my PhD dissertation raulpacheco.org/2018/02/on-the…

I'm a comparative public policy specialist who studies very vulnerable and marginalized populations. I am interested in three strands of research, the way I see them now that I am a senior professor.
1) the factors that hinder or foster cooperation and collaboration. I met Drs. Elinor Ostrom and Vincent Ostrom during graduate school and from them I learned basically everything I know about commons theory, institutional theory, cooperative approaches to resource governance.
2) comparative public policy across different issue areas for marginalized communities: I'm interested in understanding how governments develop, design, implement and transfer (or not) policies that may alleviate and/or solve vulnerable communities' problems.
3) research methods and their ethics, pedagogy and implementation (particularly field experiments and ethnography though I also do some spatial analysis, social network analysis, and a tiny bit of text-as-data, quantitative social science).

These are a bit more articulated now.
While most people think of me as an environmental policy scholar, I have also done some work on homelessness policy and ageing policy. Mostly I am interested in studying policy areas and problems where vulnerable communities might be disproportionately harmed/affected.
So what do I study/what have I studied? Well, quite a bit, actually.

1) I have been interested in understanding how environmental activists create social movements and how they influence domestic policy.
My most recent work with @AmandaMurdie tests empirically and develops new theories about how environmental activism can impact how governments deal with pollution tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.108…
I specialize in the comparative politics of North American environmental policies. Intersecting this interest with my work on transnational environmental activism, I've demonstrated how ENGOs across North America build coalitions to strengthen pressure. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.111…
2) I have an interest in institutional arrangements' design, water governance and cooperation/conflict. I conducted mixed methods' studies on water conflict in Mexico. I led a 19 people team in a multi-year, multi-institution, grant-funded project:

3) A LOT of people in the public policy field know me as "the policy instruments guy" or "the regulation guy". Well, yes. I started my PhD with an extremely strong interest in policy instrument design. Though I was REALLY convinced about voluntary programmes, I am less so now.
I am interested in understanding how environmental regulation can be part of a policy mix where we can have some economic instruments, a few voluntary programmes. For better or worse, I'm still the "stick" guy and my empirical research supports my view tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.108…
4) As a comparative public policy scholar, I am interested in understanding what explains the choices of governments in which policies they copy, adapt, adopt and transfer. My chapter in @OsmanyPorto 's edited volume focuses on water, climate, waste.

5) My studies of water governance interesect with my interests in water insecurity and the governance of unorthodox commons. One of these commons is bottled water. I've demonstrated that bottled water can be explained as a failure of regulatory regimes. mdpi.com/2073-4441/11/4…
6) My interest in research methods intersects with my studies on the comparative politics of garbage governance. With @KateParizeau I developed a framework to think about ethnography of vulnerable communities (with informal waste pickers' examples) journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/16…
Ethnography is one of the core field research methods I use, and I am very passionate and convinced about its applications to comparative policy analysis
(ungated here - researchgate.net/publication/34…)

This intersects my policy studies' work with my methods one
7) I am both a mentee of the Ostroms and someone who is very interested in further expanding their legacy. Therefore, I have also written an intellectual history of Lin Ostrom's contributions to water governance. This specific chapter focuses on Mexico.

8) As an Ostromian, & someone with strong interests in institutional arrangement design and implementation it's probably no surprise to anyone I am very interested in coordination problems across multiple scales, particularly for the water sector. Thus my work on polycentricity.
I study polycentricity as a property, institutional change and erosion and the polycentric governance of water. Together with Andreas Thiel and @LizBald33573410 I developed a framework to think about complexity and how it intersects with polycentricity cambridge.org/core/books/gov…
9) One amazing way in which I have combined my chemical engineering background, my on-the-ground wastewater treatment experience and my work on comparative public policy is the study of the comparative politics of sanitation governance, particularly in Latin America.
In this chapter, I outline the challenges that wastewater treatment poses for Latin American cities.

A lot of people seem to think that as long as we have the technology to treat effluents we're golden. I demonstrate that this view is short-sighted.
10) Because I do work on water security and cities, I am also passionate about comparing experiences across countries implementing systems such as rainwater harvesting. With Margarita Pacheco, @arturogleasone and @ceco2000 I co-edited this volume on IRCSs iwaponline.com/ebooks/book/79…
While I publish a lot in English, I've also published quite a bit in Spanish (and plan to do so in French and Portuguese and Italian, whenever my ridiculously busy schedule allows).

Here is a partial listing of my publications: raulpacheco.org/publications/

Anyway, that's me.
Yes, I write a popular blog on academic writing, planning and organization methods and techniques, but I actually DO do research of my own, that is often obscured because I tweet so much about coloured fineliners, index cards and the daily grind of writing and researching.
I hope this thread can give you insight on what I do and what I study. I need to rewrite these sections of my website but they should help you better understand what I study and research.



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More from @raulpacheco

20 Jul
Since @causalinf is talking about this, I am going to explain how I take a real holiday by referring to this piece by @zephoria danah.org/EmailSabbatica…

I do something VERY similar to what danah does: I tell my coauthors, collaborators, colleagues: "I'm going on holidays"
I do this weeks in advance. I also tell my students the same. In the before times, as my students were near to defending their theses/submitting their final drafts, I would work during my vacation and provide them with feedback.

I will no longer do this. Instead, I will...
... ensure that BEFORE I go on holidays, they will all have received meaningful feedback from me (and they can work while I'm away). Obviously, if a real crisis arise, they all have my phone number and know that they can call me. I also always encourage them to take time off.
Read 7 tweets
18 Jul
La segunda temporada de #ConversacionesMetodológicas organizadas por el Laboratorio de Métodos #LabdeM de @FlacsoMx comienza a finales de Agosto.

Iniciamos con la Dra. Beatriz Reyes-Foster @BeatriAnthro con el tema de etnografía hospitalaria y
En la segunda temporada de #ConversacionesMetodológicas, también tendremos al Dr. Pablo Barberá @p_barbera con el tema de ciencia política computacional.

Tendremos como invitados/as un amplio espectro de investigadores/as y discusiones sobre múltiples métodos.
El ciclo de conferencias #ConversacionesMetodológicas que organiza el Laboratorio de Métodos de @FlacsoMx #LabdeM tiene por objetivo estimular discusiones sobre estrategias metodológicas y empíricas y ofrecer materiales para el aprendizaje de las mismas en América Latina.
Read 4 tweets
18 Jul
I have 261 words on a Sunday morning at 8:00am, not yet caffeinated, and I don't even know how that happened.

(I'm lying - I DO know how that happened:

a) I went to sleep thinking deeply about this issue (ethics of fieldwork)
2) I have MANY questions (Prompting Questions) Image
3) Because I write to help ME understand things and make sense of what I'm thinking, I use Prompting Questions and Topic Sentences to draft a paragraph. NOTE: I don't yet know if what I wrote makes sense, BUT it's on its way. See my post on paragraphs:

So do I get to cite my dear friend, award winning book author @BeckyGMartinez in my memorandum on the ethics of fieldwork in #HospitalEthnography? Why yes I do. Image
Read 7 tweets
16 Jul
Bold statement before I go back into class:

We need more “reading and reflecting and sharing smart thoughts” time and less seminars where people present papers/give talks.

I want the Reading Group/Book Club/Learning Circle to experience a full revival.
I understand the purpose of seminars where we all read the presenter’s paper and help them think things through. I’ve benefited from those.

But imagine a Learning Circle where we all read one chapter of a book or ONE published article and share what we learned deom it?
*from it*

Personally, I learn a lot more from conversing and discussing the material than from being a relatively passive information consumer at a seminar.

One article or book chapter a week, 45 minutes of group discussion. This would be real nourishing food for my brain.
Read 4 tweets
16 Jul
Iniciamos! El Dr. Mushfiq Mobarak hablará sobre su proyecto de normalización de uso de mascarilla en Asia del Sur, que se está replicando y escalando en América Latina). #ConversacionesMetodológicas

Sigan la conversación en Facebook Live de FLACSO México
Necesitamos reducir transmisión de COVID19 mientras que no haya mayoría de personas vacunadas. Por lo mismo, una intervención viable económicamente, es el uso de mascarilla (es obviamente una intervención de varias, debemos usarlas todas) #ConversacionesMetodológicas
Qué estrategias funcionaron?
Offering Information,

Gratuita, información proporcionada, remotivación y modelación de buenos comportamientos por parte de líderes.

Read 5 tweets
16 Jul
THREAD: on how you can identify Conceptual Saturation and how you can converge on a topic or theme:

I’ve been reading on #HospitalEthnography for a while now. Recently, I’ve converged on a topic: access to field sites and gate-keeping. Relevant to my project on fieldwork.
These 3 articles give me ideas for a #MorningParagraphs: what are some of the issues that arise with regards to access to hospital wards as sites for field research - and what are the ethics of said access?

I outlined some ideas in a blank piece of paper.
What I did with these notes is that I mapped out which authors I could or should cite for each one of these ideas (see dribbles in pink)

I added a few even if they aren’t explicitly on nurses as gatekeepers because these citations DO provide insight on this topic too.
Read 7 tweets

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