Maxwell A. Cameron (Ph.D., California, Berkeley, 1989) 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 TradeTo 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. He is currently part of a research excellence cluster on the “global challenges to democracy.” Since 2011 he has served as the Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions in which capacity he has worked with a team to organize the Summer Institute for Future Legislators every year since 2013. 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. Cameron is a frequent commentator on politics in the media. He enjoys biking, skiing, scuba diving, and playing guitar. He is currently blogging about practical wisdom.

Winter 2018

POLI332 Politics and Government of Latin America Sections

A comparative examination of democracy and authoritarianism in Latin America: populism, corporatism, bureaucratic authoritarianism, transitions from authoritarianism, and contemporary debates on the quality and diversity of democratic institutions.

Winter 2018

POLI511A Core Seminar in Comparative Government and Politics - CORE CMP GOV&POL Sections

Cameron is currently supervising a number of students working on Latin American politics: Paolo SosaVeronica HurtadoDominique Rumeau, and Zarai Toledo.


UBC Killam Teaching Prize, 2012-2013.

Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, 2011-2012

President, Vancouver Institute (2012-2013)

Honourary Professor, Universidad San Martin de Porres, Lima, Peru, 2012

Recent Publications

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.

Better Democracy” in Reflections of Canada: Illuminating our Biggest Possibilities and Challenges at 150 Years. Vancouver, BC: Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, 2017.

Strong Constitutions: Social-Cognitive Origins of the Separation of Powers. New York: Oxford University Press. June 2013.

New Institutions for Participatory Democracy in Latin America: Voice and Consequence. (Edited by Maxwell A. Cameron, Eric Hershberg, and Kenneth E. Sharpe). New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012. Published in Spanish: Nuevas Instituciones de Democracia Participativa en América Latina: La voz y sus consecuencias. México, D.F.: Facultad Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales, Sede México, 2012.

To download publications, click here or here.

 Invited Presentations and Conferences (2018)

“El retorno de oligarquía en América Latina,” Keynote address, XIV Encuentro de Derechos Humanos, “Defraudados: ¿que falló en nuestra democracia?” Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, del 4 al 8 de junio, 2018. Watch here.

“Making Sense of Competitive Authoritarianism: Lessons from the Andes,” Latin American Politics and Society panel convened to discuss lead article in Vol 60, no 2 of the journal. Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, LASA, 23 May 2018.

“The Return of Oligarchy in Latin America,” Paper prepared for presentation in a panel on “Democracy, Oligarchy, and the State in Latin America,” Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, LASA, 23 May 2018.

“Can Training Make Good Politicians?” BIBU (Tackling Bubbles and Biases in Participation) Talks, Helsinki, May 21, 2018.

“Making Sense of Competitive Authoritarianism,” Higher Research Seminar, Department of Political Science, Lund University, Sweden, May 16, 2018.

“The Return of Oligarchy in Latin America,” Research Workshop, Department of Political Science, Lund University, Sweden, May 15, 2018.

“Peru’s Post-PPK Resignation Politics,” Teleconference with Alonso Gurmendi and Kenneth Frankel, Canadian Council for the Americas (CCA). March 26, 2018.

“Democracy in Crisis: Populism vs leadership for citizen inclusion,” Next Generation Democracy(NGD) North America Roundtable, Club of Madrid, San Francisco, February 25-26, 2018.