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Professor Joe Foweraker

Honorary Professor

Joe Foweraker is an Emeritus Fellow of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and an Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter. He was Oxford’s first Professor of Latin American Politics, and while at Oxford served first as Director of the Latin American Centre and subsequently as Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Previously he had been a Professor of Government at the University of Essex for many years, also serving as Head of Department in the mid-1990s and as the Executive Director of the European Consortium for Political Research from 1999-2003; and a visiting professor at the universities of Pará (Brazil), Gainesville (Florida), and Boulder (Colorado), and a visiting research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Washington DC) and the Center for US-Mexican Studies (UC San Diego). Latterly he was invited back to Gainesville as the Bacardi Family Distinguished Visiting Scholar.

In a past life, he spent many years of fieldwork in Brazil, Spain and Mexico, publishing monographs on these three countries with Cambridge University Press in 1981, 1989 and 1993. There were also many publications on social mobilization and citizenship rights in Latin America, including books with Lynne Rienner (1990), Pluto Press (1995), and Oxford University Press (1997). Subsequently his focus mainly switched to comparative research on democracy, leading to a series of articles on the quality of democratic government, an edited Encyclopedia of Democratic Thought (Routledge 2001), and a co-authored textbook on Governing Latin America (Polity 2003). In recent years he has co-edited a collection of essays on Democracy and its Discontents in Latin America (Lynne Rienner 2016) and delivered a root-and-branch revision of democratic theory in Polity: Demystifying Democracy in Latin America and Beyond (Lynne Rienner 2018). His latest book is Oligarchy in the Americas: Comparing Oligarchic Rule in Latin America and the United States (Palgrave Macmillan 2021).

Oligarchy in the Americas

Oddly, there is virtually no comparative politics of the Americas, North and South – in contrast to the plethora of research on the relationships between the two. This presented an opportunity to stake out the conceptual terrain of the comparison by focussing on the continuity of oligarchic rule in the Americas, thereby moving beyond the conventional tropes that define our thinking about our democracies. The commonalities mainly reside in the ways that oligarchic interests routinely invade the public sphere of democratic politics, so ensuring the compatibility of oligarchic rule and democratic government, and in the similar ways that oligarchy adopts successive modes of rule as it adapts to democratic pressures. In this broader perspective US democracy was never exceptional, and recent years have seen a remarkable convergence in the current mode of oligarchic rule, North and South. In sum, the comparison pays big analytical dividends by creating an entirely novel perspective on the politics of the United States, thus achieving a fuller understanding of the historical causes and more proximate reasons for the current trials and tribulations of its democracy.

For more information: Oligarchy in the Americas: Comparing Oligarchic Rule in Latin America and the United States | Joe Foweraker | Springer

For information on previous publications: https://www.amazon.com/author/joe_foweraker

Research interests

In the first part of his career Joe Foweraker spent many years of fieldwork in Brazil, Spain and Mexico, publishing monographs on these three countries with Cambridge University Press in 1981, 1989 and 1993. There were also many publications on social mobilization and citizenship rights in Latin America, including books with Lynne Rienner (1990), Pluto Press (1995), and Oxford University Press (1997). Subsequent years were dedicated mainly to comparative research on democracy, leading to a series of articles on the quality of democratic government, an edited Encyclopedia of Democratic Thought (Routledge 2001), a co-authored textbook on Governing Latin America (Polity 2003), and an edited collection on Democracy and its Discontents in Latin America (Lynne Rienner 2016). Currently he is engaged in re-thinking the political logic and configuration of democratic political systems, and his book on Polity: Demystifying Democracy in Latin America and Beyond will be published later this year.

Biography

Joe Foweraker is an Emeritus Fellow of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He was Oxford’s first Professor of Latin American Politics, and while at Oxford served first as Director of the Latin American Centre and subsequently as Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Previously he had been a Professor of Government at the University of Essex for many years, also serving as Head of Department in the mid-1990s and as the Executive Director of the European Consortium for Political Research from 1999-2003; and a visiting professor at the universities of Pará (Brazil), Gainesville (Florida), and Boulder (Colorado), and a visiting research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Washington DC) and the Center for US-Mexican Studies (UC San Diego). Latterly he was invited back to Gainesville as the Bacardi Family Distinguished Visiting Scholar.

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