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

“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)

“Changing the World Through Research: A Panel of Scholars Who Are Making a Difference,” Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, UBC, January 28, 2019

“Should BC Change its Voting System?” UBC Robson Square panel. October 30, 2018.

“Electoral reform: a viable option for Canada – lessons from Europe,” Webinar organized by the Centre for Global Studies
University of Victoria, October 30, 2018.

“Democracy and Electoral Reform,” Lecture for Fair Vote BC, Burnaby Public Library, 25 October 2018. Repeated on November 5.

“Electoral Reform in BC,” Panel, Simon Fraser University, Segal Centre, 4 October 2018.

“Electoral Reform in BC,” Panel, Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, UBC, 26 September 2018.

“Vancouver Town Hall on Proportional Representation,” BC Green Party, Vancouver, 23 September 2018.

“Democracy, Electoral Reform, and Proportional Representation,” Salt Spring Forum, Salt Spring Island, 21 September 2018.

“The Voter Referendum,” International Women Educators of BC, New Westminster Secondary School Library, 18 September 2018.

“Practical Wisdom and Politics,” BC Humanist Society, Vancouver, 16 September 2018.

“Decoding Democracy,” Glenwood Seminar, Westbrook Education Fund, Vancouver, September 1, 2018.