Research

The Leverhulme Trust    

UCL-Institute of the Americas occupies a unique position at the core of academic study of the region in the UK, promoting, coordinating and providing a focus for research and postgraduate teaching on the Americas - Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States.

Current research projects

Research by staff

Regional expertise

Research clusters

Research networks

UCLAmericas ResNet


Current research projects


Inter-American Human Rights Network


The Leverhulme Trust
IAHRN

The Inter-American Human Rights Network (IAHRN) is an international research project which seeks to examine the development and impact of the regional human rights system of the Americas. The Network’s principal purpose is to foster and coordinate collaborative research into the operations, structure, policies, rulings and recommendations of the Inter-American Commission and Inter-American Court, which together make up the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS). Learn more about this network here.

Torture Prevention in Latin America


As part of a major global study on the impact of torture prevention interventions funded by the Association for the Prevention of Torture, Dr Par Engstrom, together with Thomas Pegram (UCL Institute of Global Governance) are currently conducting detailed research on two Latin American case studies: Chile and Peru. The project involves a political and socio-legal study of the evolution of torture and other ill-treatment from 1985 to the present day across the two country cases, with a particular focus on what factors have contributed to that evolution and the external influence of international prohibition frameworks. The research draws on both qualitative and available quantitative data through a mixed method research design with the aim to present a highly contextualised picture of measures and mechanisms which contribute to lessening the risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Learn more about this research project here.

Westminster in the Caribbean


The Westminster in the Caribbean network seeks to address the urgent need for an expanded and updated analysis of the experience of Westminster in the Caribbean. The network will consider how the political model inherited from Britain was adapted to the conditions of the Caribbean, its impact on Caribbean democracy and the challenges the model has faced over the period of independence. The network encourages dialogue across a number of borders to bring new insights to critical debates about the evolution and perceived decline of democracy in the region. Learn more about this network here.


Individual research projects


Prof Jonathan Bell

Prof Jonathan Bell - My current project is provisionally entitled Unhealthy Bodies: Health Care and the Rights Revolution since the Sixties. The ‘rights revolutions’ that followed the tumultuous decade of the Sixties in the United States in the realms of gender, race, and sexuality transformed the social and political landscape of the nation. At the same time, the US health care system was undergoing significant change. More about Prof Bell's current research activity here.

Dr Paulo Drinot

Dr Paulo Drinot - I am currently completing a book manuscript provisionally titled The Sexual Question: Prostitution, Venereal Disease, and State Formation in Peru, c. 1850-1950. In this research, I study debates over, and policy initiatives aimed at, prostitution and venereal disease in order to explore broader questions about the regulation of sexuality in twentieth-century Peru. The book builds on an extensive literature on the history of... More about Dr Drinot's current research activity here.

Dr Par Engstrom

Dr Par Engstrom - I am currently developing a research agenda on torture prevention together with Thomas Pegram (UCL Institute of Global Governance). More specifically, our research is concerned with the question of what factors contribute to reducing the risk of torture and other ill-treatment across weakly institutionalised democratic and autocratic settings in Latin America. The region is an especially instructive domain for... More about Dr Engstrom's current research activity here.

Dr Tony McCulloch

Dr Tony McCulloch - I am currently working on a book manuscript entitled Tacit Alliance: Franklin Roosevelt and the Anglo-American Special Relationship Before Churchill, 1933-1940 due to be published by Edinburgh University Press. The title is taken from a speech made by William Borah, the veteran isolationist senator, who in February 1938 accused Franklin Roosevelt of forming a ‘tacit alliance’ with the British government of Neville Chamberlain. More about Dr McCulloch's current research activity here.

Prof Kevin Middlebrook

Prof Kevin Middlebrook - My current research examines alternative strategies for the international defence of workers’ rights. It focuses empirically on the special labour institutions created in association with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), systematically evaluating their performance over their first fifteen years of operation and exploring the domestic and international factors that have shaped their capacity to address labour rights violations in Canada, Mexico and the United States. More about Prof Middlebrook's current research activity here.

Prof Maxine Molyneux

Prof Maxine Molyneux - My research is broadly concerned with the ideas, socio-economic contexts and social outcomes  associated with  transformations of welfare systems.  One current research project is focused on the significance of recent changes in the technologies and approaches developed to govern poverty.  Latin America has been a site of experiment and innovation in some areas of social policy, most recently in social protection with the launching of the conditional cash transfer model in the mid-1990s. More about Prof Molyneux's current research activity here.

Prof Iwan Morgan

Prof Iwan Morgan - I am currently working on a biography of Ronald Reagan to be published by I.B. Tauris in 2016.  While there are many biographies of Reagan, none have fully mined the increasingly available archival sources (Lou Cannon, the fortieth president's most distinguished biographer, relied on his journalism records in the main) and none have altogether satisfactorily explored his whole life and connected up its various phases. In contrast ... More about Prof Morgan's current research activity here.

Dr Kate Quinn

Dr Kate Quinn - I am currently working on two major research projects. The first is a regional and comparative study of the Black Power movement in the Caribbean, which I am developing into a monograph entitled Conventional Politics or Revolution: Black Power and Radical Politics in the Caribbean. Focusing on Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana and the small islands...More about Dr Quinn's current research activity here.



Research clusters

  • Climate change and sustainable development
Dr Graham Woodgate,
  • Development theory, policy and practice

Dr Juan Grigera

Dr Thomas Grisaffi

Professor Maxine Molyneux

Dr Graham Woodgate

  • History of the Americas

Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas

Dr Paulo Drinot

Dr Althea Legal-Miller

Professor Colin Lewis

Dr Tony McCulloch

Professor Maxine Molyneux

Professor Iwan Morgan

Dr Kate Quinn

  • Human rights, justice and democratisation

Dr Par Engstrom

Dr Thomas Grisaffi

Professor Kevin Middlebrook

  • Labour history, politics and policy

Dr Paulo Drinot

Dr Juan Grigera

Professor Kevin Middlebrook

  • Liberalisms in the Americas

Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas

Dr Paulo Drinot

Professor Colin Lewis

Professor Maxine Molyneux

Professor Iwan Morgan

  • Race, ethnicity and gender in the Americas

Dr Paulo Drinot

Dr Thomas Grisaffi

Dr Althea Legal-Miller

Dr Tony McCulloch

Professor Maxine Molyneux

Dr Kate Quinn

  • Social policy in Latin America

Professor Colin Lewis

Professor Maxine Molyneux

Dr Graham Woodgate

  • State, market and the economy

Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas

Dr Paulo Drinot

Dr Juan Grigera

Professor Colin Lewis

Professor Kevin Middlebrook

Professor Iwan Morgan

Professor Maxine Molyneux

Dr Graham Woodgate

  • The Caribbean: History, Politics, Society

Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas

Dr Kate Quinn

  • The US Presidency
Professor Iwan Morgan
  • US foreign policy

Dr Tony McCulloch

Professor Kevin Middlebrook

Professor Iwan Morgan

Regional expertise