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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Consuelo Thiers

Consuelo Thiers
Consuelo Thiers
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0) 749 156 0106
Research Interests
Political psychology, Foreign Policy Analysis, Latin American Foreign Policies, At-a-distance personality assessment of political leaders

Research project

My research aims to contribute to the understanding of the life cycle of enduring rivalries. In Latin America, it is possible to observe enduring rivalries, mostly related to territorial disagreements, that are maintained over time, producing and reproducing persistent contestations among states. My research focuses on the long-lasting conflict between neighbouring countries Bolivia-Chile and Chile-Peru.

The enmity between these countries is reflected, at present, in the absence of diplomatic relations (Chile-Bolivia), constant disagreements, hostile rhetoric, threats and three lawsuits filed before the International Court of Justice. Regardless of the overall negative relationship, these rivalries have had periods of escalation and de-escalation over time. An element that has not been thoroughly explored is the role of political leaders, advisors and public servants in shaping the life cycle of these conflicts. In this sense, my research aims to help explain the variation of these rivalries through the analysis of decision-makers' beliefs.   

The method to perform the analysis will rely on the analysis of documents (mainly speeches delivered by Presidents and Foreign Affairs Ministers) and the information collected through interviews with political leaders, advisors and public servants.

Documents will be analysed using the at-a-distance assessment technique. This technique has been developed to carry out evaluations of political leaders' personality and is based on the idea that psychological characteristics can be assessed through a systematic analysis of what leaders say. Within the wide-ranging variety of these sort of procedures, I will utilise the cognitive Operational Code framework. This approach intends to determine decision-makers’ philosophical and instrumental beliefs concerning the nature of the political universe and their preferences regarding the political action. 

The interviews conducted with advisors and public servants will be examined through qualitative analysis. 


Prof. Juliet Kaarbo and Dr Kristen Hopewell


M.A in International Studies, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Dissertation: “Latin American Political Leaders: A study of personality at-a-distance”

B.A in Psychology, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Teaching and research experience

  • Tutor on Introduction to Politics and International Relations, University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2017)
  • Research Assistant (2015-2017) Assisted in carrying out a research project on integration processes in Latin America using concepts of social psychology. Lead researcher: Dr Sebastien Dube, Universidad de Santiago de Chile.
  • Lecturer in Psychological Assessment, Universidad SEK, Department of Psychology. Santiago, Chile (2014 – 2016)
  • Lecturer in Psychological Assessment, Universidad UNIACC, Department of Psychology. Santiago, Chile (2012 – 2016)
  • Lecturer in Personal Development, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Department of Early Childhood Education. Santiago, Chile (2013 – 2015)
  • Lecturer in Learning Psychology, Universidad Chileno-Británica de Cultura, Department of Education. Santiago, Chile (2013)
  • Lecturer in Learning Psychology and Psychological Development, Universidad Iberoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología, Department of Education. Santiago, Chile (2011 – 2013)


  • Politics and International Relations Career Development PhD Scholarship (2016-2018). University of Edinburgh.
  • Travel research grant, Universidad de Chile (2012).


Dubé, Sebastien & Thiers, Consuelo (2017). Social Group Dynamics and Patterns of Latin America Integration Processes. Revista de Estudios Sociales, (60). 25-35.

Thiers, C. (2017, July 12) [Review of the book Latin America’s Leaders by R. Diamint & L. Tedesco]. Political studies review, 15 (4), 675-676.

Participation in Conferences

§  Thiers, C. (2018). Profiler Plus: Spanish translation of the Leadership Trait Analysis Coding Scheme. International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, San Francisco.

§  Dubé, S. and Thiers, C. (2017). Social Group Dynamics and Patterns of Latin American Integration Processes. International Society of Political Psychology Annual Scientific Meeting (ISPP), Edinburgh.

§  Thiers, C. (2017). Latin American Political Leaders: A study of personality at-a-distance. International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, Baltimore.

§  Dubé, S. and Thiers, C. (2016). When National Interests and Group Dynamics Clash: Latin American Integration Processes from a Political Psychology Perspective. LASA Conference, New York.

§  Dubé, S. and Thiers, C. (2016) Workshop: “regional processes and the changing state in Latin America”. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. 

Administrative Experience

Research Grant Administrator, Millenium Nucleus Center of Stochastic Models,  2014-2016.

  • Assisted in the management of the project budget and produced financial reports for funders.
  • Contributed to the organization of scientific activities, such as conferences and workshops.
  • Assisted in designing and implementing public engagement activities


Spanish - native speaker

English - fluent


International Studies Association- ISA

Latin American Studies Association- LASA

International Society of Political Psychology- ISPP

Society for Latin American Studies-SLAS