Colton Wade is an MPhil candidate at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies conducting research funded by the Joseph L. Allbritton Scholarship awarded by his alma mater, Georgetown University, in partnership with Brasenose College, Oxford.  His research focuses on corruption and the institutional accountability mechanisms that combat it, with a particular focus on those that remove and bar corrupt officials from federal-level elected office in the United States and Brazil.  His work stems from his broader legal interests in comparative and constitutional law and policy interests in diplomacy, democracy, and good governance. He is supervised by Professor Marina Kurkchiyan.

Before coming to Oxford, Colton completed a Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he studied everything from climate and tech policy to trade and corporate diplomacy, international law, and human rights.  As a Newsom Graduate Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, he wrote his graduate thesis on the efficacy of economic statecraft as a tool for strengthening global democracy amid a rise in authoritarianism and, as a Research Assistant for the Center for Latin American Studies, he helped construct the States and Institutions of Governance in Latin America (SIGLA) database. 

Prior, he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with his Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) from Georgetown, where he majored in International Politics and wrote his senior honors thesis on the international factors motivating domestic political support for anti-corruption legislation in Brazil (1988-2018). This work built off his time as a 2016 David L. Boren Scholar studying in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil.

Alongside his academic experience, Colton has held a variety of public-policy oriented internships, including at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; the Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy in Brasília, Brazil; the Brazil Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC; and the White House, in the office of then-Vice President Joe Biden.  His fundamental ambition is to leverage methodologically rigorous academic research toward the making of better public policy.

Research Interests


Comparative Law

Constitutional Law

Separation of Powers



Judicial Authority


Latin America

Research projects