Manoel Gehrke

Manoel Gehrke

School of Government
Research Fellow with the Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability and Representation

Contact details

School of Government
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Manoel Gehrke is a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham's Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability & Representation (CEDAR). He specialises in comparative politics and political economy, with a focus on Latin America. His research interests include political corruption, contemporary threats to democracy, and the political economy of environmental degradation.

Gehrke's current book project investigates how political elites' reactions influence the effectiveness of anticorruption policies in Brazil. He is also working on cross-national projects that examine the political consequences of corrupt politicians being convicted and the use of nepotism in public employment as a tool for political bargaining in Brazilian municipalities. In addition, Gehrke has studied the ways in which political parties in Colombia evade controls to prevent electoral fraud.

Gehrke's research on the political economy of environmental degradation includes examining the effects of political favoritism and law enforcement tools on environmental crimes.


PhD in Political Science, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) 2019

MSc in Economics, Bocconi University 2012

MA in International Relations, Barcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI) 2009

BA in Economics, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) 2007


Manoel Gehrke holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and has previously worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Bocconi University. He has conducted field research in Brazil and Colombia and is a Fellow of Corruption in the Global South. He has received funding for his research from the J-PAL Governance Initiative, the Tinker Institute, UCLA's International and Latin American Institutes, and the Bank of Italy's Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF). 

Gehrke collaborates with civil society and governmental organizations in Latin America as part of his research. These include Courts of Accounts in Brazilian states, the Office of the Comptroller General (CGU), the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) as well as the Mission of Electoral Observation (MOE) and the National Electoral Council (CNE) in Colombia.


Research interests

 Political Corruption

 Democracy and Authoritarianism

 Political Economy of Environmental Degradation

Electoral Fraud

Current projects 

How Politicians React to Anti-Corruption Investigations and Enforcement: Evidence from Brazil 

Convictions for Corruption and Government Approval: Global Evidence, with Feng Yang (Peking University). 

Convicting Politicians for Corruption: The Politics of Criminal Accountability, with Luciano da Ros (UFSC).

Do Biometric Identification Machines Help to Clean Up Elections? Evidence from Colombia.

Family Matters: Nepotism and Public Employment in Brazil
with Diogo Britto (Bocconi), Alexandre Fonseca (UFPE and Receita Federal), Paolo Pinotti (Bocconi), and Breno Sampaio (UFPE).  

Political Favoritism and Environmental Degradation in Brazil (1985-2020), with Cesar Martinez (Yale)

Other activities

Fellow of Corruption in the Global South


Daniel Uhr , Júlia Uhr, Renan Peres, Manoel Gehrke, and Magnum Eltz. Does Reaching the Statute of Limitations Affect the Recidivist Behavior of Environmental Aggressors in Brazil? Journal of Quantitative Criminology.

Gehrke, Manoel. Digital Technology, Citizens’ Engagement, and Electoral Corruption in Colombia. Forthcoming in Mattoni, Alice [ed.] Digital Media and the Struggle Against Corruption from the Grassroots: Contexts, Platforms and Practices of Anti-Corruption Technologies Across the World. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023.

Gehrke, Manoel. “Eleições e corrupção nas prefeituras brasileiras” [Elections and Corruption in Brazilian Municipal Governments] In: Marenco, André and Noll, Maria Izabel. A política, as políticas e os controles: como são governadas as cidades brasileiras. [Politics, policies and controls. How are Brazilian cities governed?] Tomo Editorial, pp. 171-184, 2018.

View all publications in research portal