María Santillán O’Shea

Research Assistant (International Cooperation and Development)
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María Santillán O’Shea is a Research Assistant in the International Cooperation and Development area at the Elcano Royal Institute. BSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Exeter, and MSc Public Policy and Human Development with a Social Protection Policy specialization from the United Nations University and Maastricht University. She has worked as a Research Executive in the Public Division of Kantar UK, where she has partaken in quantitative and mixed methods research projects on public opinion. She has also worked as a Research Analyst at TotalAnalysis, where she tracked the evolution of Covid-19 and the transparency of the official data on it around the world.

Research areas: social protection policy, development, international cooperation, public policy analysis, welfare regimes. MSc thesis: ‘Coping with Covid-19 in rural Peru: A narrative of local welfare’ (qualitative research). BSc dissertation: ‘Why do current approaches to development fail to develop? A diagnosis of mistakes and alternatives’.

Selected publications: Conte’s prospects are walking on thin – and Chilly – ice (RAIA Group, 2021), Bolsonaro’s Mild balance of public distrust and political alliances (RAIA Group, 2021).

Other contact information: María Santillán O’Shea on LinkedIn.


  • Workshop Elcano-ETTG: ‘The future of the EU as global development actor’ (2022)

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