Camila Vergara is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights. Her research combines a critical interpretation of modern and contemporary political thought, grounded on the material organization of power, and a normative political theory guided by a radical republican critique of procedural theories of justice. By focusing on the relation between inequality, corruption, and domination, her work is an economically engaged political philosophy that examines issues of political legitimacy and popular authority within different conceptions of liberty and the organizations of power they promote.
Her forthcoming book, Systemic Corruption. Constitutional Ideas for an Anti-Oligarchic Republic, theorizes the crisis of democracy from a structural point of view, arguing that representative governments suffer from systemic corruption, a form of political decay that should be understood as the oligarchization of society’s political and legal structures. In addition to exploring different sets of anti-oligarchic institutional solutions in the history of political thought, the book points to the necessity of approaching constitutionalism from a framework that allows us to acknowledge ever-expanding corruption and domination, and proposes a methodological approach to the study of constitutions that goes beyond the written text and jurisprudence, to incorporate the factual organization and exercise of power that is allowed and enabled by foundational institutions, rules, and procedures—or lack thereof.
Prior to the Holder Initiative, she was a lecturer in political theory at New York University, and on constitutional law at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies. She also served as press attaché for Chile at the United Nations and worked as a journalist for several media outlets in Chile.
She holds a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, with a special minor in constitutional law; an MA in Politics from the New School for Social Research, with a focus on theories of constituent power and authority; and an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from New York University (Fulbright Scholar), with an expertise on the constituent populist revolutions in Latin America during the first decade of the 21st century.