Professor Vidal Romero is a visiting fellow and a former British Academy Professorial Fellow of the Latin America and Caribbean Centre. He holds a BA in Law from the Universidad de Guadalajara, a Master’s in Public Policy from ITAM, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University.
Professor Romero is affiliated faculty at the Center on Energy and Natural Resources at ITAM, an associate researcher at the Program on Poverty and Governance at Stanford University, and was previously Tinker Visiting Professor at Stanford University. Romero has collaborated on different research projects with the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, The National Endowment for Democracy, and The Wilson Center.
His research has focused on presidents’ decision-making and approval, the determinants of free-market reforms, the effect of communal organisation on allocation of public goods, and the political-economy of fiscal decision-making. Professor Romero’s current research examines the specific conditions under which states are able to procure order in their territories.
His first of two ongoing projects in this area analyses how Cuba’s economic liberalisation process migth affect public security and illegality, as well as its chances of democratisation. Cuba’s initial conditions for a transition are not ideal: high corruption, economic need, and a geographical location of strategic importance for criminal networks. This research aims to generating applicable knowledge that might help to reduce the likelihood of an escalation of crime and violence in Cuba.
His second project studies different communal forms of organisation and decision-making in rural Mexico, as well as analysing how these different forms impact upon the success of mining and energy-investment ventures. The project seeks to devise forms of regulation that can maximise the well-being of indigenous communities and the performance of companies, while also reducing social conflict.