Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Staff Profile

Dr Lorenza Fontana

Lecturer in International Politics


Lorenza is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in International Politics in the Politics Department. Prior to this, she was a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellow based at Newcastle University and Harvard University. Lorenza has also served as political analyst and researcher for the United Nations Development Programme and other international organisations. She has held visiting positions at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, France, at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, at the University of Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and at the EAFIT University in Medellin, Colombia.


  • B.A. in Communication and Journalism, University of Torino, IT
  • M.A. in International Relations, University of Bologna, IT
  • Ph.D in Politics, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, IT 


  • English (fluent)
  • Spanish (fluent)
  • French (fluent)
  • Italian (mother tongue)

Google scholar: Click here.


My research interests include contentious politics and conflict studies, human rights and global justice, multicultural citizenship and resource governance, with a focus on the Global South and particularly Latin America. I have also worked on the post-2015 development agenda and the challenges of identifying new research priorities and foster participation especially from the Global South within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework. My work is highly multidisciplinary, drawing from comparative politics and international relations, sociological approaches to collective action, and critical development theories.


Principal Investigator ‘Playing with fire: Using forum theatre to investigate social conflict in the aftermath of the 2019 Bolivian wildland fires’ Urgency Award, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) (£150,000) 2020/2021

Principal Investigator ‘The Determinants of Inter-communal Conflicts in Rural Bolivia: New Evidence with Quantitative Data’, Pioneer Award, Newcastle University Institute for Social Science (£5,000) 2020/2021

Principal Investigator, Returner's Support Programme, Newcastle University (£10,000) 2019/2020
Principal Investigator ‘Contentious Rights: A Comparative Study of International Human Rights Norms and their Effects on Domestic Social Conflict’ Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellowship, European Commission (€270,000) 2016/2020
Principal Investigator ‘Indigenous Voices: Assessing the Impact of Free Prior and Informed Consultation within Amazonian Communities’ Royal Geographical Society Small Grant (£3,000) 2015
Co-Investigator ‘ID100: Hundred Key Questions in International Development’ Innovation, Impact and Knowledge Exchange Collaborative Research and Development Award, University of Sheffield (£35,000) 2014
Research Mobility Award, Worldwide University Network (WUN) (£2,200) 2014
Santander Research Mobility Award (£1,200) 2013
Erasmus Consortia Placement Award (€3,150) 2011
POR Regione Toscana  Award (€4.800) 2010
UNDESA and Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Joint Fellowship ($18,000) 2009

Postgraduate Supervision

I am happy to supervise students working in any of my research interests, in particular politics of international development, Latin American politics, human rights and social justice, social movements and identity politics.

PhD Students

Jocelyn Hickey "Exploring Epistemologies of Reading through an Engagement with Adam Smith's 'Invisible Hand'"


POL3126 Latin American Politics 

POL3046 Dissertation in Politics