My main research interests have revolved around political parties and party systems, democratic and authoritarian regimes, political institutions, and the Catholic Church and politics in Latin America..
I love teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2005, I was awarded the James C. Burns, CSC Graduate School Award, given annually to a Notre Dame faculty member for distinguished teaching of graduate students.
My book with Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, Democracies and Dictatorships in Latin America: Emergence, Survival, and Fall, was recently published (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
Our book presents a new theory for why political regimes emerge and why they subsequently survive or break down. It then analyzes the emergence, survival, and fall of democracies and dictatorships in Latin America since 1900. We argue for a theoretical approach situated between long-term structural and cultural explanations and short-term explanations that look at the decisions of specific leaders.We focus on the political preferences of powerful actors - the degree to which they embrace democracy as an intrinsically desirable end and their policy radicalism - to explain regime outcomes. We also demonstrate that transnational forces and influences are crucial to understand regional waves of democratization. The book offers the first extended analysis of regime emergence, survival, and failure for all of Latin America over a long period of time.
Democracies and Dictatorships co-won the 2014 American Political Science Association Comparative Democratization Section's Best Book Award and won the 2014 Latin American Studies Association Political Institutions Section best book award.
Volume to honor Guillermo O'Donnell
Published, September 2012, University of Notre Dame Press
Volume to honor Alfred Stepan
Selected Publications and Datasets
"Regime Legacies and Levels of Democracy: Evidence from Latin America." Comparative Politics, July 2013. (With Aníbal Pérez-Liñán)
Latin America: Eight Lessons for Governance
Political Regimes in Latin America, 1900-2007 (with Daniel Brinks and Anibal Perez Liñán)
US Foreign Policy Dataset (SPSS)
Kellogg Institute book series
For many years, I have served as the Editor of the Kellogg Institute book series. We welcome submissions of excellent manuscripts.