Thursday, December 12, 2019

URSP Student Dylan McFarland Analyzes the Dynamic Socio-political Landscape in Central America

I had never thought about how I became interested in my own project until I saw my classmates present on their widely varying research and found myself thinking, “How in the world did they even come up with such a thing?” I have always been fascinated by other cultures different from my own. Studying Spanish as my second language exposed me to a deeper understanding of the Latin American region and the experiences of the people therein.

After participating in the Global Politics Fellowship at the Arlington campus I began to think more critically about democratization and political participation and civil society. Therefore, when presented with the opportunity to conduct an independent research project, the dynamic socio-political landscape in Central America seemed a perfect subject. I would like to continue this research in the future and this has led me to want to pursue a career in human rights advocacy work where I hope this project can be used as an example of my research experience and writing samples for grad school applications and job applications.

This project has added to my weekly routine a hefty amount of reading relevant literature on the subject. Some weeks I attend off-campus lectures at Latin America centric NGOs in DC (all weeks I am thinking about the formulation of my research and methodologies). I have discovered through this research deeper implications about “agency” and political action. Being so close to this project and never having become bored or frustrated with it has cemented within the realization that I have a real passion for it as well.