Jhon Bonilla Aranzales

PhD Student
E004 Locust Street Bldg., 615 Locust Street


John K. Bonilla-Aranzales is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at The Truman School of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Missouri, Columbia. His research interests explore the intersections linked to political institutions in the Global South, cyberspace, and peace studies.


John K. Bonilla-Aranzales actively collaborates with interdisciplinary teams and conducts multifaceted research endeavors that draw from a rich array of data sources, including interviews, archival research, and public opinion datasets. His research approach is marked by a rigorous mixed-methods methodology, demonstrating his commitment to comprehensive investigation and analysis.

His doctoral dissertation constitutes a pivotal focus of his research portfolio, centering on the intricate design and repercussions of peacemaking referendums within the Global South. Peacemaking referendums, while potent tools for conflict resolution, inherently harbor risks. John employs a sophisticated mixed-methods approach that highlights the crafting of a strategic analytical narrative by executive leaders seeking to transform their desired changes into tangible reality. Through extensive examination of case studies across diverse Global South nations, including Colombia and South Africa, John aims to contribute significantly to our understanding of both the potential and the associated risks inherent in the use of peacemaking referendums to conclude intrastate armed conflicts.


  • PhD, Political Science, University of Missouri. May 2024 (expected). Concentrations: Comparative Politics (primary), International Relations (secondary) Committee: Bryce Reeder (chair), Laron Williams, James Endersby
  • MA, International and Political Studies, Universidad del Rosario, August 2017.
  • BA, Foreign Languages and International Business, Universidad del Tolima, June 2008.

Professional Experience:

Advisor of Strategic Partnerships

Directorate of External Affairs, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Colombia)

January 2014 – November 2018

Coordinator of Academic Cooperation

International Relations Office, Universidad del Tolima (Colombia)

August 2011 – December 2013

Research & Publications:

  • Chenou, Jean-Marie, and John K. Bonilla-Aranzales. “Cyber Peace and Intrastate Armed Conflicts: Toward Cyber Peacebuilding?” Chapter. In Cyber Peace: Charting a Path Toward a Sustainable, Stable, and Secure Cyberspace, edited by Scott J. Shackelford, Frederick Douzet, and Christopher Ankersen, 94–116. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022. http://doi:10.1017/9781108954341.005.
  • Bonilla-Aranzales, J. K. (2023). Too Legit to Quit? Analyzing the Effect of No-Confidence Motions on Cabinet Members’ Instability in Presidential Systems: The Cases of Colombia and Peru. Latin American Politics and Society, 65(3), 95–127. http://doi.org/10.1017/lap.2023.1
  • Serrano Plata, L. J., Bonilla-Aranzales, J. K., Bonilla Machado, M. M., & Chenou, J. M. (2023). Silence is Safer Than Speech: The Utility of Social Media Labeling in Countering Political Polarization in Peacebuilding Contexts. Análisis Político, 36(106), 85-112. https://doi.org/10.15446/anpol.v36n106.111042