This profile was current as of 2015, when he was part of the on-campus Kellogg community.

James Loxton (PhD, Harvard University), a political scientist specializing in political parties, regimes, and the comparative politics of Latin America, is a 2014–15 Kellogg visiting fellow. His research focuses on two main subjects: conservative parties in Latin America and authoritarian successor parties worldwide. 

At Kellogg, Loxton is working on the book manuscript “Authoritarian Inheritance and Conservative Party-Building in Latin America.” Based on 15 months of fieldwork in five countries, it is the first-ever comparative study of conservative parties in Latin America. At its heart is a puzzle: why were the most successful new conservative parties also the ones with the closest links to former dictatorships? In response, Loxton develops a theory of “authoritarian inheritance,” whereby parties inherit valuable resources from authoritarian regimes that, paradoxically, help them to flourish under democracy.

Loxton is also working on a new comparative project on “authoritarian successor parties”—parties founded by high-level incumbents of former dictatorships that continue to operate after a transition to democracy. With Faculty Fellow Scott Mainwaring, he is organizing the April 2015 conference “Life After Dictatorship: Authoritarian Successor Parties Worldwide,” which will result in an edited volume.

Loxton’s work has appeared in Democratization and in chapters in edited volumes by Cambridge University Press and Johns Hopkins University Press. With Steven Levitsky, Brandon Van Dyck, and Jorge I. Domínguez, he recently coedited a volume on party-building in Latin America, which is currently under review.

A native of British Columbia, Canada, Loxton was a fellow at Human Rights Watch in Santiago, Chile before attending graduate school. In fall 2015, he will begin as a lecturer (assistant professor) in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney.


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