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 (forthcoming).

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. Since 2011 he has served as the Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions in which capacity he has organized the Summer Institute for Future Legislators between 2013 and 2016. 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

POLI516A Issues in Comparative Politics - COMPAR POLITICS Sections

I am 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


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.

Democracia en la región Andina: Diversidad y desafíos. (Edited by Maxwell A. Cameron and Juan Pablo Luna). Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 2010. Pp. 605. (Plural Editores, La Paz, Bolivia, 2011; Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia, 2012).

Peru: The Left Turn that Wasn’t.” In Steven Levitsky and Kenneth Roberts, eds. The Resurgence of the Latin American Left (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011), pp. 375-398.

“Text, Power and Social Exclusion: From Colonialism to the Crisis of Criollo Republicanism” in John Crabtree, ed. Fractured Politics: Peruvian Democracy Past and Present (London: Institute for the Study of the Americas, 2011), pp. 23-51.

The State of Democracy in the Andes: Introduction to a Thematic Issue,” Revista de Ciencia Política, Vol. 30, no 1, 2010, pp. 5-20.

Latin America’s Left Turns: Politics, Policies, and Trajectories of Change. (Edited with Eric Hershberg). Lynn Rienner Publishers, 2010, Pp. 289.

To download publications, click here or here.

 Invited Presentations (past two years)

“The Failure of the Fifth Republic in Venezuela,” Continuing Studies, Simon Fraser University, September 25, 2017.

Moderator of book launch. “Reflections of Canada,” Peter Wall Institute. June 23, 2017.

Organizer of workshop on “Global Challenge to Democracy,” San Jose, Costa Rica, May 4-6, 2017. Supported by an excellence cluster grant from the Vice President Research at UBC.

“Canada in Latin America: A retrospective,” presentation in to the Canadian International Council, Vancouver Branch, Expo Plaza Latina, “A New Pacific Nexus: Canada, Latin America, and Asia.” Law Courts Inn, March 30, 2017.

Workshop Series on “Designing for Wisdom,” Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Co-convener with Ken Sharpe. The workshops explore the begins with the premise that wisdom involves knowledge, but it comes from experience, and then asks: how can institutions be designed, not only to teach knowledge, but also to create the experiences through which wisdom might be attained? Can people be taught to be wise practitioners? Three workshops were organized. One was on community-building (March 16, 2017), another on the rights and virtues of nature (March 23, 2017), and the third on the creation of InSite, Vancouver’s supervised injection site (April 7, 2017).

“Designing Wisdom: Making Change Makers,” with Ken Sharpe, talk to associates, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, January 25, 2017. Podcast:

“La calidad de la democracia,” Keynote Address, AMECIP (Mexican Association of Political Science), July 5, 2016, Monterrey, Mexico,

“Toward Post-Liberal Democracy in Latin America?” Presented at RELAM 1st International Conference, “What’s Left?
The Left Turn in Latin America, 15 Years After.” Bibliothèques et Archives Nationales du Québec 535 Viger Est, Montréal, March 23-24, 2016.

“30 años del libro de Transiciones.” 3ra Cátedra Mexicana Brasileña Guillermo O’Donnell, La Tercera Ola Democrática en América Latina, Queretaro, Mexico, June 1-3, 2016

“After Incorporation in Latin America,” workshop on “New Patterns of Inclusion in Latin America,” Princeton University, May 20-21, 2016.

“Toward Post-Liberal Democracy in Latin America?” Presented at RELAM 1st International Conference, “What’s Left?
The Left Turn in Latin America, 15 Years After.” Bibliothèques et Archives Nationales du Québec 535 Viger Est, Montréal, March 23-24, 2016.

Between Rules and Practice: Why We Need Practical Wisdom in Life, Work, and Politics,” Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, February 26, 2016.

“La Calidad y Diversidad de la Democracia en América Latina,” Conferencia Internacional, Escuela Electoral y de Gobernabilidad del Jurado Nacional de Elecciones, Trujillo, 17 de diciembre, 2015.

“Sabiduria práctica en la política,” talk at Transparencia, “Diálogos por el Buen Gobierno,” hosted by Canadian Embassy, Lima, Peru, 17 December 2015.

After the Paris Attacks: Canada’s Role in the Fight Against ISIS, presented at: “After the Paris Attacks: What Must we Learn?” Liu Institute for Global Issues – Multipurpose Room. December 1 at 12:30 pm.

“Future-Proofing Elected Officials: The Summer Institute for Future Legislators,” The Future is Coming: Bold Ideas for Bright Communities, Lower Mainland Local Government Association and CivicInfo BC, CivX 2015, Asia Pacific Hall, Simon Fraser University, 550 West Hastings, Vancouver, November 24, 2015.

UBC experts roundtable on federal election results, October 20, 2015. See:

Panel. Democracy after the Election, UBC Law School, October 15, 2015.

Independent Officers of Parliament, Colloquium, The University of Ottawa, September 24-25, 2015.

“Instituto de Legisladores Futuros,” Congreso Internacional, Élites y Liderazgos en Tiempos de Cambio, Salamanca, España, 10 y 11 de junio de 2015.

“Reforma política e controles democráticos sobre o sistema político,” Participação, Democracia, Políticas Públicas. Aproximando Agendas y Agentes. II Encontro Internacional, UNICAMP, Campinas, Brasil, 27 a 30 de Abril, 2015, São Paulo, Brazil.

“Panel on Bill C-51 – The ‘Anti-Terror’ Bill.” Vancity Office of Community Engagement & Institute for Humanities, Simon Fraser University, March 24, 2015.

“Why We Need Practical Wisdom in Canadian Politics,” Fair Vote Canada Vancouver AGM, February 25, 2015.