Dr Luis De La Calle

Department of Politics and International Relations

Lecturer in Quantitative Methods


Full contact details

Dr Luis De La Calle
Department of Politics and International Relations
Modular Teaching Village
Northumberland Road
S10 1AJ

Luis De la Calle started his academic career as a junior researcher at the Juan March Institute, and then moved to CIDE in Mexico City, where he spent eight years before joining Sheffield. He was a visiting professor in Carlos III University during the spring of 2018 and a resident fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences (CASBS) during the 2020/2021 year. His broader research interests include terrorism, conflict dynamics, legacies of violence, and warfare and state capacity. His book Nationalist Violence in Post-war Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2015) compared why some sub-state nationalist movements turned to terrorism during the second half of the previous century whereas others remained peaceful. Together with Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca, he is working on another book-long project that lays out an original theory of terrorism identifying it as the defining feature of clandestine armed groups engaged in highly asymmetrical conflicts. His previous work has been published in journals such as the Annual Review of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and the Journal of Peace Research.                     

  • PhD, Political Science - European University Institute
  • MA, Social Sciences - Juan March Institute 
  • BA, Sociology - University of Salamanca.
Research interests

I do research on conflict and state capacity. I'm interested in all sides of conflict: its causes, the dynamics of violence (and how they evolve in connection to other relevant dimensions such as popular support or electoral politics), and its consequences. I have done fieldwork on civil wars but also on conflicts where rebels do not control territory (terrorist conflicts, so to speak). My current research looks at the link between civil wars and state capacity: Under what conditions do states become weaker/stronger when governments fight domestic rebels? How does the "who wins" question have an impact on the performance of the state in the aftermath of conflict? Is foreign sponsorship a boon or a curse to strengthening war-prone states?

Teaching interests

Broadly, I'm interested in teaching research methods modules, as well as courses on conflict, state capacity, and Latin American politics.

Teaching activities
  • Political Analysis
  • Comparative Politics
  • Research Design
Professional activities and memberships
  • Member of the Professional Development Committee of the International Studies Association
  • Editor of Politica y Gobierno (2019/2022)
Supervision Expertise
  • Empirical studies of conflict
  • Terrorism
  • State capacity