Professor Maxwell A. Cameron (Ph.D., California, Berkeley, 1989) is jointly appointed with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) and Political Science. He is the former Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI) and the former Acting Director of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (July 2019-August 2020) at UBC.
Professor Cameron specializes in comparative politics (Latin America), constitutionalism, democracy, and political economy.
He is the author or editor of a dozen academic books as well as over fifty peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. His books include: Democracy and Authoritarianism in Peru, The Peruvian Labyrinth, The Political Economy of North American Free Trade, To Walk Without Fear: The Global Movement to Ban Landmines, Latin America’s Left Turns: Politics, Policies and Trajectories of Change, Democracia en la Region Andina, New Institutions for Participatory Democracy in Latin America, The Making of NAFTA, Strong Constitutions, and most recently, Political Institutions and Practical Wisdom.
Cameron has held visiting positions in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame University (1996) and at Yale University, where he was the Canadian Bicentennial Professor in 2005. In 2006 he served as political advisor to the OAS Electoral Observation Mission in Peru. He founded the “Andean Democracy Research Network” to monitor and report on the state of democracy in the Andean region which received funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Martha Piper Fund, SSHRC, IDRC and the Ford Foundation. With Sheryl Lightfoot and Lisa Sundstrom he established a research excellence cluster on the “global challenges to democracy” which led to an edited book project on democracy in the Andes.
While Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, he worked with a team including Prof. Gerald Baier and Project Manager Rebecca Monnerat to organize the Institute for Future Legislators.
In 2011-12 he was a Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, and in 2013 he was awarded a UBC Killam Teaching Prize. In 2020 he was named a Distinguished Fellow by the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Cameron is a frequent commentator on politics in the media and is consulted by governments, legislatures, and domestic and international election authorities on democratic issues.
He was the recipient of the 2022 Guillermo O’Donnell Democracy Award and Lectureship by the Latin American Studies Association for his work on democracy in Latin America.
“The Return of Oligarchy? Threats to Representative Democracy in Latin America,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 775-792. (First published online January 11, 2021). https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2020.1865794
“Pathways to Inclusion in Latin America,” in Kapiszewski, Diana, Steve Levitsky, Deborah Yashar, eds. The Inclusionary Turn in Contemporary Latin American Democracies. Cambridge University Press, 2021, pp. 401-433.
“Modes of Oligarchic Rule in Latin America,” in Joe Foweraker Oligarchy in the Americas: Comparing Oligarchic Rule in Latin America and the United States (chapter co-authored with Joe Foweraker). New York: Palgrave (Pivot series), 2021, pp. 33-58.
“From Oligarchic Domination to Neoliberal Governance: The Shining Path and the Transformation of Peru’s Constitutional Order,” in Hillel Soifer and Alberto Vergara, eds. Leaving the Path: Legacies of the Shining Path Conflict in Peru. University of Texas Press, 2019, pp. 79-108.
Political Institutions and Practical Wisdom: Between Rules and Practice. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.
“Making Sense of Competitive Authoritarianism: Lessons from the Andes, Latin American Politics and Society, Vol. 60, no 2, Summer 2018, pp. 1-22.
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Invited Presentations and Conferences
Guillermo O’Donnell Democracy Award and Lectureship, Latin American Studies Association, May 6, 2022.
“Crisis Política: ¿Solución Constitucional?” Diálogos constitucionales. (“Political Crisis: Constitutional Solution?”). Ministry of Justice of Peru, May 12, 2022 (online).
“Protagonistas de la Ciencia Política: Maxwell Cameron.” The Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi, April 8, 2022 (in Spanish).
“Nuevos y viejos desafios a la democracia en América Latina,” Instituto Internacional de Estudios Políticos Avanzados de la Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero (Acapulco) IIEPA/UAGRO, February 25, 2022 (online).
“Challenges to Democracy in the Andes,” presented at University of Pennsylvania, Centre for Latin American and Latinx Studies, February 17, 2022 (online).
“Cambios Constitucionales en América Latina,” Diálogos por la Democracia, Fundación Gustavo Mohme Llona and International IDEA, Lima, December 4, 2021 (online).
“Distinguished Fellow Panel: Anti-Democratic Behaviour in the Americas. A Roundtable Discussion in Honour of and Including Maxwell Cameron,” Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Virtual Congress, August 24, 2021.
“The Survival and Fall of Defective Democracies in the Andes,” Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Virtual Congress, August 24, 2021.
“Peru in 2021: Are There Silver Linings in Peru’s Dark Clouds?” Latin American Studies Association Virtual Congress, May 26, 2021.
“Lessons from the BC Referendum,” Electoral Reform: Where are we at and what’s next, Panel Discussion sponsored by the Jean-Luc Pepin Research Chair, University of Ottawa, March 11, 2021.
“Political Polarization—Will it spread to Canada?” MP Breakfast Connections with Joyce Murray, online Vancouver, January 22, 2021.