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Kellogg Working Groups

Working groups funded by the Kellogg Institute stimulate intellectual activity within the Institute community and more broadly throughout the University. Led by Institute faculty fellows, the groups typically draw together an interdisciplinary mix of faculty members, visiting fellows, graduate students, and even undergraduates to further inquiry on emerging research themes and or focus attention on topical, interdisciplinary issues.

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Current Working Groups


The Africa Working Group provides a forum for resident faculty, graduate students, and outside scholars to present and discuss cutting edge research on Africa. Participants, who come from a range of disciplines, share a common interest in investigating Africa’s past, present, and future, as well as Africa’s place in the larger global order. The group also sponsors Africanist events, enriching the study of Africa on campus and building on growing student interest in the region.
Cochairs: Catherine Bolten and Erin Metz McDonnell
Student Coordinator: Evelyn Bauman

Asia & Asian Studies

Africa Working GroupThe Working Group on Asia & Asian Studies (WGAAS) provides a forum for faculty, graduate students, and outside scholars to share emerging research in Asian Studies, with a particular focus on the region’s democratic possibilities and human development. Strengthening the cohesion of Asian Studies across the University, the group unites expertise in anthropology, East Asian languages and cultures, education, and business, among other disciplines.
Chair: Lionel Jensen
Graduate Student Cochair: Megan Rogers


The Democracy Working Group invites wide involvement of Kellogg faculty fellows, graduate students, and members of the Notre Dame community in measuring democracy and related concepts and evaluating and using democracy indicators. Participants are encouraged to share related research with the group. They are also invited to provide advice to an international team of investigators led by Faculty Fellow Michael Coppedge, which is engaged in a wide-ranging, multiyear project to produce dozens of new indicators of democracy for all countries since 1900.
Chair: Michael Coppedge

Latin American History

Latin American History Working GroupThe Latin American History Working Group brings together Latin American historians—both faculty and graduate students—for serious, extended, and creative intellectual exchange. Monthly meetings feature paper presentations by faculty members, graduate students, and invited scholars. Encouraging an interdisciplinary approach, the group aims to strengthen the growing community of Latin American historians at Notre Dame, to professionalize its graduate students, and to host notable scholars in the field at the University.
Cochairs Ted Beatty, Karen Graubart, and Jaime Pensado


The Mexico Working Group serves as a venue for resident and visiting faculty and graduate and undergraduate students to consider issues related to Mexico.  With the goal of strengthening the presence of Mexico at Notre Dame, the group supports conferences, talks, cultural events, and academic discussions. The group also fosters academic and cultural exchanges to link the University with Mexico and Mexican Studies institutions and coordinates a biennial Undergraduate Research Conference focused on Mexican issues.
Cochairs:  Vania Smith-Oka and Jaime Pensado
Graduate Student Contact
: Rodrigo Castro Cornejo

Public Opinion and Elections

Convened around electoral politics in Latin America, the Working Group on Public Opinion and Elections engages faculty, graduate students, and outside experts to explore voter behavior and support for political parties in the region, with a special focus on understanding how public opinion is shaped and responds to political campaigns. The group aims to foster collaboration between the Kellogg Institute and scholars elsewhere specializing in comparative political behavior in Latin America.
Faculty cochair:  Scott Mainwaring
Graduate student cochair
: Rodrigo Castro Cornejo

Well-Being, Economic Performance, and Inequality

The Working Group on Well-Being, Economic Performance, and Inequality gathers faculty and graduate students interested in issues of human development from across the University to read and discuss books on well-being, economic performance, and inequality from an interdisciplinary perspective. The group’s eventual goal is to promote collaborative research on well-being.
CochairsAmitava Dutt and Georges Enderle




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The Kellogg Institute promotes scholarship, learning, and linkages that address issues of critical importance to our world. At the center of our interdisciplinary community’s work are two key themes: democratization and human development. 

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