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Kevin Middlebrook

Professor Kevin J. Middlebrook
Kevin Middlebrook

Professor of Latin American Politics

Programme Director: MA Latin American Studies and MSc Latin American Politics

 


Biography

Kevin J. Middlebrook is Professor of Latin American Politics at the Institute of the Americas, University College London. He was previously affiliated with the Institute of Latin American Studies (2002-04) and the Institute for the Study of the Americas (2004-12), both at the University of London. Between 1995 and 2001 he was Director of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego, where he also held an appointment as Adjunct Professor of Political Science.

Educated at Harvard University, he has held postdoctoral and research fellowships at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies (1983-84, 1991, 2019); the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University (1993-94); and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Smithsonian Institution) in Washington, DC (2018). He has also received research grants from the Fulbright-Hays Commission, the Social Science Research Council, the Howard Heinz Endowment, the Fulbright Commission, and the Nuffield Foundation.

His professional activities include service as an editorial board member of the Latin American Research Review (1997-2000) and the Journal of Latin American Studies (2006-12), multiple interviews on Latin American politics and US-Latin American relations with newspapers and electronic news media throughout the world, and consultancies with government agencies in the United Kingdom and the United States. Within the international Latin American Studies Association, he has served as a member (1992-94) and co-chair (1994-97) of the Task Force on Human Rights and Academic Freedom, a member of the steering committee for the working group on labour studies (1994-95), chair of the "Democracy and Human Rights" section of the 1994-95 congress programme committee, the Association's first elected Treasurer (2006-10), co-founder and co-chair of the organized section on Mexico (2009-12) and co-chair of the Development Committee (2012-14). In addition, he was co-creator and serves as co-chair (2016-21) of LASA's newest endowed prize, the Guillermo O'Donnell Democracy Award and Lectureship.

He has served as a PhD examiner at Indiana University-Bloomington in the United States, La Trobe University in Australia, and, in the United Kingdom, at King's College London, the London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of Birmingham, the University of Essex, the University of Oxford, the University of Sheffield, the University of Sussex, and the University of Warwick.


Teaching Summary

Post Graduate Taught:

AMER0007: Democratisation of Latin America

Research Supervision:

Professor Middlebrook supervises research (MPhil/PhD) students examining the comparative and international politics of Latin America. Past and current students have analysed such topics as public security crises and reform initiatives in Colombia and Mexico, US-Latin American relations since the Cold War, party nationalization in Brazil, military politics in Venezuela, post-memory and politics in Argentina and Guatemala, the politics of media regulation in the Southern Cone, ethnicity and indigenous political participation in Peru and other Andean countries, political clientelism and democracy in Belize, constitutional reform and democratization in Colombia, the politics of state-led economic development in Mexico and South Korea, and Ecuadorean foreign policy and the 'law of the sea'.


Research Interests

Comparative and international political economy (strategies for the international defense of workers' rights, state-labour relations in Latin America), regime change in Latin America (political cleavages, conservative parties and democratization), U.S.-Latin American relations.

Professor Middlebrook's current research examines alternative strategies for the international defence of labour 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 two decades 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. The project also compares the NAFTA experience with other trade agreement-based labour-rights arrangements, and it assesses the effectiveness of these institutional arrangements compared to such alternative rights-protection strategies as cross-border labour solidarity actions, corporate social responsibility campaigns and actions undertaken by the International Labour Organization. The research highlights the tensions between national sovereignty and the international promotion of labour rights.


Publications

Books

The International Defense of Workers' Rights: The North American Agreement on LaborCooperation in Comparative Perspective (in preparation)


(coauthor) Organized Labour and Politics in Mexico: Changes, Continuities and Contradictions (Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, 2012) [revised and expanded version published in Spanish as Sindicatos y política en México: cambios, continuidades y contradicciones, Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales/Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales-Sede México/Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, 2013]


(coauthor) Mexico since 1980 (Cambridge University Press, 2008)


(coeditor) La industria maquiladora de exportación en México: Ensamble, manufactura y desarrollo económico [The Maquiladora Industry in Mexico: Assembly, Manufacturing, and Economic Development] (Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, 2006)


(editor) Dilemmas of Political Change in Mexico (Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London / Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego, 2004)


(coeditor) Confronting Development: Assessing Mexico's Economic and Social Policy Challenges (Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego / Stanford University Press, 2003)


(editor) Party Politics and the Struggle for Democracy in Mexico: National and State-Level Analyses of the Partido Acción Nacional (Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego, 2001)


(editor) Conservative Parties, the Right, and Democracy in Latin America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000)


(editor) Electoral Observation and Democratic Transitions in Latin America (Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego, 1998)


The Paradox of Revolution: Labor, the State, and Authoritarianism in Mexico (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995)


(coeditor) The Politics of Economic Restructuring: State-Society Relations and Regime Change in Mexico (Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego, 1994) [published in translation as Las dimensiones políticas de la reestructuración económica, Cal y Arena, Mexico City, 1996]


(editor) Unions, Workers, and the State in Mexico (Center for U.S.- Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego, 1991)


(coeditor) The United States and Latin America in the 1980s: Contending Perspectives on a Decade of Crisis (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986)


Journal articles

"Labor Rights versus State Sovereignty: Testing the Impact of U.S. Generalized System of Preferences Petitions as a Strategy for Defending Labor Rights Internationally" (in preparation)


"Economic Stabilization, Democratization, and the (Virtual) Disappearance of Labor Strikes in Mexico," Trabajo 14 (2017): 99-132


(coauthor) "El sindicalismo y la democratización en México" ["Organized Labor and Democratization in Mexico"], Foro Internacional 52, 4 (2012): 796-835


"Le Mexique et la crise internationale," Amérique latine (2010): 87-95


"Caciquismo and Democracy: Mexico and Beyond," Bulletin of Latin American Research 28, 3 (2009): 411-27


(coauthor) "Protecting Workers' Rights in Mexico: Local Conciliation and Arbitration Boards, Union Registration, and Conflict Resolution in the 1990s," Labor Studies Journal 23, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 21-51 [published in translation as "Las juntas locales de conciliación y arbitraje en México: Registro sindical y solución de conflictos en los noventa," Estudios Sociológicos 47 (May-August 1998): 283-316]


"Movimiento obrero y democratización en regimenes posrevolucionarios: Las políticas de transición en Nicaragua, Rusia y México" ["Organized Labor and Democratization in Postrevolutionary Regimes: Transition Politics in Nicaragua, Russia, and Mexico"] Foro Internacional 149 (July-September 1997): 365-407


 

"Turning Points: Labor and Politics in Contemporary Mexico," Este País no. 67 (October 1996): 35-43


"State Structures and the Politics of Union Registration in Postrevolutionary Mexico," Comparative Politics 23, no. 4 (July 1991): 459-78 [published in translation as "Estructuras del estado y política de registro sindical en el México posrevolucionario," Revista Mexicana de Sociología 54, no. 4 (October-December 1992): 65-90]


"The Ties that Bind: 'Silent Integration' and Conflict Regulation in U.S.-Mexican Relations," Latin American Research Review 26, no. 2 (1991): 261-75


"The Politics of Industrial Restructuring: Transnational Firms' Search for Flexible Production in the Mexican Automobile Industry," Comparative Politics 23, no. 3 (April 1991): 275-97 [published in translation as "Las dimensiones políticas de la reestructuración industrial: El caso de la industria automotriz mexicana," Foro Internacional 32, no. 3 (January- March 1992): 342-75]


"The Sounds of Silence: Organised Labour's Response to Economic Crisis in Mexico," Journal of Latin American Studies 21, no.2 (1989): 195-220


"Union Democratization in the Mexican Automobile Industry: A Reappraisal," Latin American Research Review 24, no. 2 (1989): 69-93 [published in translation as "La democratización sindical en la industria automotriz mexicana," Revista Mexicana de Sociología 50, no. 4 (1988): 31-59]


"Dilemmas of Change in Mexican Politics," World Politics 41, no. 1 (October 1988): 120-41


"Regional Organizations and Andean Economic Integration, 1969-1975," Journal of Common Market Studies 17, no. 1 (September 1978): 62-82


Research papers

Political Liberalization in an Authoritarian Regime: The Case of Mexico, Research Report #41, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego, 1985


"Political Change and Political Reform in an Authoritarian Regime: The Case of Mexico," Working Papers #103, Latin American Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1981


(coauthor) Military Government and Political Development: Lessons from Peru, Sage Professional Papers in Comparative Politics #01-064, Sage Publications, Inc., 1975


Book chapters

"Partidos politicos, cultura política y democracia" ["Political Parties, Political Culture, and Democracy"], pp. 243-48 in Francisco Paoli Bolio and Gonzalo Farrera Bravo, eds., Partidos y sistemas de partidos: experiencias comparadas (Mexico City: Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2016)


(coauthor) "Organized Labor and Politics in Mexico," pp. 335-64 in Roderic Ai Camp, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Mexican Politics (Oxford University Press, 2011)


(coauthor) "Ensamble y manufactura en la industria maquiladora: ¿corriendo para permanecer en el mismo lugar?" ["Assembly and Manufacturing in the Maquiladora Industry: Running to Stay in the Same Place?"], pp. 13-47 in Kevin J. Middlebrook and Eduardo Zepeda, eds., La industria maquiladora de exportación en México: Ensamble, manufactura y desarrollo económico [The Maquiladora Industry in Mexico: Assembly, Manufacturing, and Economic Development] (Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, 2006)


"Mexico's Democratic Transitions: Dynamics and Prospects," pp. 1-53 in Kevin J. Middlebrook, ed., Dilemmas of Political Change in Mexico (Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London / Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego, 2004)


 

(coauthor) "On the Political Economy of Mexican Development Policy," pp. 3-52 in Kevin J. Middlebrook and Eduardo Zepeda, eds., Confronting Development: Assessing Mexico's Economic and Social Policy Challenges (Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego / Stanford University Press, 2003)


 

"Party Politics and Democratization in Mexico: The Partido Acción Nacional in Comparative Perspective," pp. 3-44 in Kevin J. Middlebrook, ed., Party Politics and the Struggle for Democracy in Mexico: National and State-Level Analyses of the Partido Acción Nacional (Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego, 2001)


"Conservative Parties, Elite Representation, and Democracy in Latin America," pp. 1-50 in Kevin J. Middlebrook, ed., Conservative Parties, the Right, and Democracy in Latin America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000)


"Conservative Politics, the Right, and Democracy in Latin America," pp. 285-92 in Kevin J. Middlebrook, ed., Conservative Parties, the Right, and Democracy in Latin America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000)


"Electoral Observation and Democratization in Latin America," pp. 3-29 in Kevin J. Middlebrook, ed., Electoral Observation and Democratic Transitions in Latin America (Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego, 1998)


"The Politics of Industrial Restructuring: Transnational Firms' Search for Flexible Production in the Mexican Automobile Industry," pp. 200-32 in Frederic C. Deyo, ed., Social Reconstructions of the World Automobile Industry: Competition, Power, and Industrial Flexibility (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996)


(coauthor) "The Politics of Economic Restructuring in Mexico: Actors, Sequencing, and Coalition Change," pp. 3-52 in Maria Lorena Cook, Kevin J. Middlebrook, and Juan Molinar Horcasitas, eds., The Politics of Economic Restructuring: State-Society Relations and Regime Change in Mexico (Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego, 1994)


"State-Labor Relations in Mexico: The Changing Economic and Political Context," pp. 1-25 in Kevin J. Middlebrook, ed., Unions, Workers, and the State in Mexico (Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego, 1991)


 

"Reestructuración industrial y política sindical en la industria automotrizmexicana," vol. 2, pp. 42-71 in Alejandro Alvarez Béjar and John Borrego, eds., La inserción de México en la cuenca del Pacífico (Mexico City: Facultad de Economía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1991)


"The CTM and the Future of State-Labor Relations in Mexico," pp. 291-305 in Wayne A. Cornelius, Judith Gentleman, and Peter H. Smith, eds., Mexico's Alternative Political Futures (Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California-San Diego, 1989)


"Political Liberalization in an Authoritarian Regime: The Case of Mexico," pp. 123-47 in Guillermo O'Donnell, Philippe C. Schmitter, and Laurence Whitehead, eds., Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Latin America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986) [reprinted in Paul W. Drake and Eduardo Silva, eds., Elections and Democratization in Latin America, 1980-1985 (Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies, University of California-San Diego, 1986)]


(coauthor) "The United States and Latin America in the 1980s: Change, Complexity, and Contending Perspectives," pp. 3-57 in Kevin J. Middlebrook and Carlos Rico, eds., The United and Latin America in the 1980s: Contending Perspectives on a Decade of Crisis (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986)


"Political Reform and Political Change in Mexico," pp. 149-61 in Jack W.Hopkins, ed., Latin America and Caribbean Contemporary Record (Holmes & Meier, 1983)


"International Implications of Labor Change: The Mexican Automobile Industry," pp. 133-70 in Jorge I. Domínguez, ed., Mexico's Political Economy: Challenges at Home and Abroad (Sage Publications, 1982)


(coauthor) "The State and Organized Labor in Brazil and Mexico," pp. 213-63 in Sylvia A. Hewlett and Richard S. Weinert, eds., Brazil and Mexico: Patterns in Late Development (Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1982)


"Political Change in Mexico and its Implications for Mexico-United States Relations," pp. 55-66 in Susan Kaufman Purcell, ed., Mexico-United States Relations (Academy of Political Science, 1981)


 

"Energy Security in U.S.-Mexican Relations," pp. 152-80 in David A. Deese and Joseph S. Nye, eds., Energy and Security (Ballinger Publishing Co., 1980)


(coauthor) "Corporatist Participation under Military Rule in Peru," pp. 428-53 in David Chaplin, ed., Peruvian Nationalism: A Corporatist Revolution? (St. Louis, MO: Transaction Books, 1976)


Book reviews and research reports

Review of Juan Pablo Luna and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, eds., The Resilience of the Latin American Right, in Latin American Politics and Society 57, no. 2 (2015): 164-67.


Review of Matthew E. Carnes, Continuity Despite Change: The Politics of Labor Regulation in Latin America, in Journal of Latin American Studies 47, no. 3 (2015): 637-38


Review of Michelle L. Dion, Workers and Welfare: Comparative Institutional Change in Twentieth-Century Mexico, in Journal of Latin American Studies 43, no. 1 (2011): 165-67


Review of Steven T. Wuhs, Savage Democracy: Institutional Change and Party Development in Mexico, in Journal of Latin American Studies 42, no. 2 (2010): 418-20


Review of Jonathan Schlefer, Palace Politics: How the Ruling Party Brought Crisis to Mexico, in Democratization 17, no. 1 (2010): 208-10.


Review of Kenneth F. Greene, Why Dominant Parties Lose: Mexico's Democratization in Comparative Perspective, and Beatriz Magaloni, Voting for Autocracy: Hegemonic Party Survival and Its Demise in Mexico, in Perspectives on Politics 6, no. 2 (2008): 403-5


Review of Robert G. Finbow, The Limits of Regionalism: NAFTA's Labour Accord, in Journal of Latin American Studies 40, no. 1 (2008): 173-75


Review of John A. Adams, Jr., Bordering the Future: The Impact of Mexico on the United States, in Journal of Latin American Studies 38, no. 4 (2006): 883-84


Review of Todd A. Eisenstadt, Courting Democracy in Mexico: Party Strategies and Electoral Institutions, in Journal of Latin American Studies 38, no. 2 (2006): 415-17


Review of Jorge I. Domínguez and Michael Shifter, eds., Constructing Democratic Governance in Latin America (second edition), in Democratization 12, no. 1 (2005): 123-25


Review of Caroline C. Beer, Electoral Competition and Institutional Change in Mexico, in Journal of Latin American Studies 36, no. 4 (2004): 820-21


Review of Maria Victoria Murillo, Labor Unions, Partisan Coalitions, and Market Reforms in Latin America, in Journal of Latin American Studies 36, no. 2 (2004): 395-97


Review of Joseph S. Tulchin and Andrew D. Selee, eds., Mexico's Politics and Society in Transition, in Journal of Latin American Studies 35, no. 4 (2003): 880-81


Review of John Mason Hart, ed., Border Crossings: Mexican and Mexican-American Workers, in Journal of Latin American Studies 33, no. 1 (2001): 177


Review of John P. Tuman and John T. Morris, eds., Transforming the Latin American Automobile Industry: Unions, Workers, and the Politics of Restructuring, in Industrial and Labor Relations Review 53, no. 4 (2000): 718


Review of Paul W. Drake, Labor Movements and Dictatorships: The Southern Cone in Comparative Perspective, in The Americas 55, no. 2 (1998): 351-52


Review of Kathleen Bruhn, Taking on Goliath: The Emergence of a New Left Party and the Struggle for Democracy in Mexico, in American Journal of Sociology 104, no. 2 (1998): 550-52


 

Review of Viviane Brachet-Márquez, The Dynamics of Domination: State, Class, and Social Reform in Mexico, 1910-1990, in American Historical Review 101, no. 3 (1996): 948


Review of Riordan Roett, ed., The Challenge of Institutional Reform in Mexico, in American Political Science Review 90, no. 1 (1996): 223-24


Review of Jonathan Hartlyn, Lars Schoultz, and Augusto Varas, eds., The United States and Latin America in the 1990s: Beyond the Cold War, in American Political Science Review 88, no. 2 (1994): 515-16


Review of John D. French, The Brazilian Workers' ABC: Class Conflict and Alliances in Modern Sao Paulo, in Industrial and Labor Relations Review 47, no. 1 (1993): 151-52


 

Review of Stephen D. Morris, Corruption & Politics in Contemporary Mexico, in Inter-American Review of Bibliography 42, no. 1 (1992): 170- 71


Review of George W. Grayson, Oil and Mexican Foreign Policy, in Hispanic American Historical Review 69, no. 1 (1989): 148-49


Review of Arturo Alvarado, ed., Electoral Patterns and Perspectives in Mexico, in Hispanic American Historical Review 68, no. 4 (1988): 843-44


Review of Rhys Jenkins, Transnational Corporations and the Latin American Automobile Industry, in American Historical Review 93, no.3 (1988): 802-803


Review of Douglas C. Bennett and Kenneth E. Sharpe, Transnational Corporations Versus the State: The Political Economy of the Mexican Auto Industry, in American Political Science Review 81, no.2 (1987): 683- 84


Review of Rich Kronish and Kenneth S. Mericle, eds., The Political Economy of the Latin American Motor Vehicle Industry, in Contemporary Sociology 15, no. 2 (1986): 244-45


Review of Richard Rubinson, ed., The Dynamics of World Development, in American Political Science Review 76, no. 2 (1982): 452-53


"Notes on Transitions from Authoritarian Rule in Latin America and Latin Europe," Working Papers #82, Latin American Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution, 1981