Mariely Lopez-Santana

Photo of Mariely Lopez-Santana
Titles and Organizations

Associate Professor

Contact Information
Phone: 703-993-9479
Fairfax Campus, Aquia Building, Room 321
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
MSN: 3F4

Personal Websites


Mariely López-Santana is an associate professor in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

Her research and teaching interests are threefold: the politics and governance of employment and social policy in Western Europe and the United States; states’ reactions to a variety of social problems, including labor market exclusion, economic crises, and gang activity; and the politics and policies of multilevel systems, including her current research project on fiscal/financial oversight boards around the world (including the Puerto Rican junta). She has also worked on the topic of Europeanization, as well as on new modes of governance including soft law.

Her book, The New Governance of Welfare States in the United States and Europe: Between Decentralization and Centralization in the Activation Era (SUNY Press, 2015), explores contemporary changes in the organization of welfare states in Italy, Germany, Spain, the U.K., and the United States. She continues to explore issues related to welfare states and inequality, as well as multilevel governance, federalism, and decentralization.

Prior to joining Mason, López-Santana was Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. In addition, in 2010 she received a grant to be an Erasmus Mundus MAPP Visiting Scholar at the Institut Barcelona D' Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). She has also been a visiting scholar at the Center for Political and Constitutional Studies in Madrid, SCORE in Stockholm, Juan March Foundation in Madrid, and the Free University of Brussels.

She received her PhD in political science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

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Areas of Research

  • Advanced Industrial States
  • Comparative Federalism
  • Comparative Politics
  • Comparative Welfare States
  • Employment Policy
  • European Union
  • Fiscal Oversight Boards
  • Gangs
  • Governance
  • Social Welfare Policy