Luiz Vilaça




International Development, Political Sociology, Social Movements


Luiz Vilaça is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and a Kellogg Ph.D. Fellow at the University of Notre Dame. His research cuts across Sociology of Law, Organizations, and Politics. His dissertation examines how state organizations build autonomy and capacity to fight corruption. He utilizes a within-country case comparison design, contrasting Brazil’s Operation Car Wash — an investigation that jailed over 200 corrupt politicians and business executives — with four prior failed investigations. Drawing on 82 original interviews with federal prosecutors, detectives, and judges, his dissertation provides one of the first on-the-ground accounts of how federal investigators manage cases of grand corruption.


Title: "Beyond Elites and Movements: Subterranean Activism and Anti-Corruption Reform"
Committee: Erin McDonnell (co-chair), Ann Mische (co-chair), Rory McVeigh, Aníbal Pérez-Liñan