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Mariely Lopez-Santana

Associate Professor, Director of Political Science Doctoral and Master's Programs
Mariely Lopez-Santana



Research Hall Room 351, MSN: 3F4
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030




Prof. Mariely López-Santana is an Associate Professor and Director of the Political Science Graduate Program at the Schar School.

Dr. López-Santana’s research and teaching interests are threefold:

(1) the politics and governance of employment and social policy in Western Europe and the United States;

(2) States’ reactions to a variety of social problems, including labor market exclusion, economic crises, and gang activity, and

(3) the politics and policies of multilevel systems, including her current research project on fiscal/financial oversight boards around the world (including the Puerto Rican junta). She has also worked on the topic of Europeanization, as well as on new modes of governance (including soft law).

Her book entitled The New Governance of Welfare States in the United States and Europe: Between Decentralization and Centralization in the Activation Era (SUNY Press, 2015) explores contemporary changes in the organization of welfare states in Italy, Germany, Spain, the UK, and the United States. She continues to explore issues related to welfare states and inequality, as well as multilevel governance, federalism, and decentralization.

Dr. López-Santana received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Prior to joining George Mason University, she was Max Weber Post-Doctoral Fellow at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy). In addition, in 2010 she received a grant to be an Erasmus Mundus MAPP Visiting Scholar at the Institut Barcelona D' Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). She has also been a visiting scholar at the Center for Political and Constitutional Studies (Madrid), SCORE (Stockholm), Juan March Foundation (Madrid), and the Free University of Brussels.

Areas of Research

  • Advanced Industrial States
  • Comparative Federalism
  • Comparative Politics
  • Comparative Welfare States
  • Employment Policy
  • European Union
  • Fiscal Oversight Boards
  • Gangs
  • Governance
  • Social Welfare Policy