Academic Profile

People Feature

Laurence Whitehead

Senior Research Fellow

Research Interests : International aspects of democratisation, the relationship between democratisation and economic liberalisation. Main focus: Latin America.

Laurence Whitehead is a Senior Research Fellow in Politics at Nuffield College, Oxford University, and until 2015 was Senior Fellow of the College.  During 2005/6 he served as Acting Warden there.  In 2011/2 he served as Senior Proctor of the University.   His most recent books are Latin America: A New Interpretation, (Palgrave, 2006 second revised updated edition 2010).   Laurence Whitehead, Democratization: Theory and Experience (OUP, 2002 – Spanish edition with FCE in 2011).  His most recent edited publications include The Politics of Recall Elections (Palgrave 2020), Let the People Rule?  Direct Democracy in the 21st Century (ECPR Studies in European Political Science, 2017) edited jointly with Saskia Ruth and Yanina Welp, and Illiberal Practices:Territorial Variance with in Large Federal Democracies (Johns Hopkins UP, 2016) which he co-edited with Jacqueline Behrend. There is also Democratization in America: A Comparative –Historical Analysis (Johns Hopkins UP, 2009) which he edited jointly with Desmond King, Robert C. Liebermen, and Gretchen Ritter, and (jointly with Marcelo Bergman) Citizen Security in Latin America (Notre Dame University Press, 2009).

Recent articles include "The Authoritarian Temptation and its Radical Left Expressions" in Comparative Political Theory (2022), two papers in the December 2021 issue of Latin American Policy: "Mixed messages about democratization in the Many Mexicos" with Jacqueline Behrend and "Constitutional controversies in the subnational democratization of Mexico,1994-2021’" with Susana Berruecos García. Other articles include "The Danger of Democratic Delinquency", The Journal of Democracy, July 2021; "Regional Organizations, Democratic Conditionality: Family Resemblances and Shaming", International Political Science Review, July 2021;  "Games and Gaffe Avoidance" Central European Political Science Review, Spring 2020; "The Hard Lessons of Brexit" Journal of Democracy, April 2020; "The Growing Incidence of a Venerable but Overlooked Democratic Institution: Recall Elections" Democratization, December 2018; "Three Angles on Alliance Options of Authoritarian Regimes", The Taiwan Journal of Democracy, July 2018; "Practicas Iliberales  y antidemocraticas a nivel subnacional", Colombia Internacional  91; "International Democracy Promotion  as a  Political Ideology: Upsurge and Retreat", The Journal of Political Ideologies, February 2015; "Anti democracy Promotion: Four Strategies in Search of a Framework Taiwan", Journal of Democracy, December 2014 ; ""Enlivening" the Concept of Democratisation: The Biological Metaphor", Perspectives on Politics, July 2011.

He has recently contributed two chapters, "United States-Canada: Two Overlapping Democratic Trajectories in North America", and "Argentina-Chile-Uruguay: Comparing Trajectories of Democratisation in Latin America’s Southern Cone" to the latest TRU Project volume Democracy under Pressure: Resilience or Retreat? edited by Ursula van Beek (Palgrave, 2022). With Yanina Welp he contributed a chapter on "Referendums about Presidential Mandates: Deviations or Correctives" and with Jacqueline Behrend "Dynasties, Double-Dealings, and Delinquencies: Some Entangled Features of Subnational Politics in Mexico" to the GIGA volume Latin America in Times of Turbulence: Presidentialism Under Stress edited by Mariana Llanos and Leiv Marsteintredet (New York 2023).  He also wrote "Depth Perception: Improving Analytical Focus through Cross- and Inter-Regional Comparisons" in A Ahram et al (eds) Comparative Area Studies (OUP , 2018). He wrote the entry on "Regime Change" in Vol 2 of the Sage Handbook of Political Science (2020).




Laurence Whitehead