Manuel Cabal is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science. He specializes in comparative politics with a regional focus on Latin America, and particularly on authoritarianism and state-building. His current research asks why dictators create developmental states, and how social policies contribute to power consolidation even when they are unpopular and face social resistance. His work also studies the geography of state capacity with a mix of quantitative and qualitative data on Mexico’s post-revolutionary education system. Contrary to common narratives of state-building in Latin America, his research shows that the territorial limitations of nation-states are as much the result of the incentives and constraints of national leaders, as they are of the resistance of peripheral power-holders. Manuel holds a BA (Licenciatura) in Political Science from Instituto Tecnológico Autonómo de México (ITAM), and an MA from The University of Chicago. He has also worked for the Mexican Federal Government as a policy analyst and a speechwriter.