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 2020

POLI220 Introduction to Comparative Politics Sections

A comparative analysis of foreign governments. Specific countries to be covered will vary according to section; consult the brochure issued by the Department.

Winter 2020

POLI424 Ethics in Democratic Politics Sections

Ethics in politics, including citizenship and public service, and practices demanded by the institutions of democracy.

Winter 2020

POLI523B Political Thought - POLI THOUGHT 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

“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.

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)

“The Return of Oligarchy: Latin America After the Pink Tide,” paper presented at the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies Conference, York University, May 10-12, 2019.

“Political Civility in the Age of Partisan Polarization,” Conversation with Steve Paikin, Ryerson University, March 11, 2019.

“Political Institutions and Practical Wisdom,” Glenwood Seminar, Vancouver, March 4, 2019.

“Civility and Partisanship: How We Can Train Future Politicians,” Vancouver Institute, March 2, 2019.

“Why is Venezuela in crisis? – and what does it mean for Canada?” MP Breakfast Connections with Joyce Murray, Aphrodite’s Organic Cafe, Vancouver, February 15, 2019.