Head of Oxford School of Global and Area Studies; Director of the Brazilian Studies Programme; Professor of Latin American Politics
I am a comparative political scientist with a deep commitment to interdisciplinary area studies. I completed my PhD in political science at the University of Notre Dame in 1993. I then taught at Louisiana State University and Florida International University before arriving in Oxford in 2005. From 2008 to 2012 I directed the Latin American Centre, and I became Head of the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA) in 2018.
My research concerns democratization and political institutions (parties, legislatures, and elections) in modern Latin America, especially Brazil. With Cesar Zucco (Fundação Getúlio Vargas), I co-direct the Brazilian Legislative Surveys, which have recorded the opinions of Brazilian politicians in every parliament elected since 1990. Recently, I have been working with several colleagues on the cross-regional implications of some of Latin America’s experimentation with democratic institutions, particularly the question of how presidents cope with increasingly fragmented parliaments. This resulted in a recent book: Paul Chaisty, Nic Cheeseman, and Timothy J. Power, Coalitional Presidentialism in Comparative Perspective: Minority Presidents in Multiparty Systems (Oxford University Press, 2018). It has been tremendously rewarding to conduct research that compares new democracies in Africa, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union.
Some of my other recent publications include a book co-edited with Peter R. Kingstone, Democratic Brazil Divided (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017), and a chapter with Scott Mainwaring and Fernando Bizzarro, “The Uneven Institutionalization of a Party System: Brazil,” in Mainwaring, ed., Party Systems in Latin America: Institutionalization, Decay, and Collapse (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Journal articles forthcoming in 2019 include “Mapping Ideological Preferences in Brazilian Elections, 1994-2018: A Municipal-Level Study” with Rodrigo Rodrigues-Silveira, in the Brazilian Political Science Review; and “Flying Solo: Explaining Single-Party Cabinets under Minority Presidentialism,” with Paul Chaisty, in the European Journal of Political Research.
In my spare time I pitch for the Oxford Globetrotters, the most disorganised team in the co-ed Oxford Softball Association. In addition to holding the current league records for highest age and slowest time to first base, I spend a lot of time recruiting OSGA faculty and students to our intrepid team.