Research Networks


UCL-Institute of the Americas (UCL-IA) has established  a number of research networks and gives its support to other scholarly groups by co-organising and hosting events, as well as assisting with publications. The list below provides details of these networks. Please click on each one for further details.

Crises of Capitalism in the Americas Research Network

The Crises of Capitalism in the Americas Research Network (COCARN) was launched at an inaugural event held on 20 June 2011. By bringing together scholars and researchers with extensive expertise in the history of the region, COCARN provides an institutional and intellectual framework, to enable the development of collaborative research and research facilitation initiatives that enhance our understanding of key crises in the history of capitalism in the Americas and their impact on the region’s economies and societies, open new avenues for inter and multidisciplinary research on the history of capitalism that frame the American experience in a broader global context, and help shape timely debates on the causes, nature, and consequences of the current global crisis.

For further information please contact:

Dr Paulo Drinot

London Transitional Justice Network

The London Transitional Justice Network (LTJN) is an inter-university and interdisciplinary network of scholars, practitioners and policymakers from the wider London area (and beyond) who have research interests in the politics, policies and processes of transitional justice.

For further information please contact the LTJN co-chair

Dr Par Engstrom

UCL Americas Research Network

The UCL Americas Research Network is a group of research students striving to build an awareness and active engagement for all research students across UCL that work on the Americas. Learn more about this network here.

Westminster in the Caribbean: History, Legacies, Challenges

Steering Group

Kate Quinn (UCL-Institute of the Americas)

Peter Clegg (University of the West of England)

Dylan Vernon (UCL-Institute of the Americas)

Brian Meeks (University of the West Indies, Mona)

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 – disciplinary, geographical and institutional – to bring new insights to critical debates about the evolution and perceived decline of democracy in the region as it prepares to mark 50 years of independence.

Learn more about this network here.
This network is funded by an AHRC International Research Networks Grant. To enquire about participating in the network please contact

US History Network

UCL-Institute of the Americas (UCL-IA) is involved in a number of networks that promote research in US history.  It engages with colleagues from other universities in London and the South East in the US History seminar hosted by the Institute of Historical Research but organized by a group of convenors, among them Prof Jonathan Bell and Professor Iwan Morgan. UCL-IA is also engaged with the Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS), whose executive committee Professor Morgan chaired from 2007 to 2013. 

British Network on Latin American Politics

The British Network on Latin American Politics promotes debates and exchanges on contemporary Latin American politics, public policy and international affairs. It also facilitates collaboration among university-based researchers at a number of universities, including King’s College London, London School of Economics and Political Science, University College London, University of Bradford, University of Oxford, University of Sheffield and others.

The co-convenors of the Network are Kevin J. Middlebrook (UCL-Institute of the Americas) and Laurence Whitehead (Nuffield College, Oxford).

Caribbean Postgraduate Network

Postgraduate students located in discipline-based departments often find they are the sole scholar within their department working on the Caribbean. The Caribbean Postgraduate Network seeks to bring together students who share a common interest in the Caribbean to share their work with regional specialists in a friendly and informal setting. The network holds an annual workshop combining postgraduate papers with research training geared to the particularities of undertaking research on and in the Caribbean. The network is open to any postgraduate students from academic institutions around the world who are researching any aspect of the wider Caribbean and its diasporas.

To join the network contact

Dr Kate Quinn

Argentina Research Network

The Argentina Research Network  (ARN) brings together academics, researchers and postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines who share a research interest in Argentina. It provides a forum that aims to improve interaction, the dissemination of information, sharing of research and fostering of academic discussion among researchers of Argentina, primarily in the UK and Ireland. It collaborates with broader European and Latin American networks and institutions to stage joint workshops and events whilst maintaining a country-specific focus. ARN was formed in 2009 due to the growing level of academic interest in Argentina.

Please contact ARN for further information.

Cuba Research Network - CRN

The Cuba Research Network (CRN) aims to bring together researchers from a wide range of disciplines who share an interest in Cuban history, economy and society, or are working on research projects with Cuban partners. The CRN provides a forum that aims to improve interaction, dissemination of information, sharing of research and fostering of academic discussion.

The CRN is coordinated by Dr Emily Morris, ( whose work on Cuba focuses on the economy and the Havana sustainable mobility project. Other UCL-IA staff and associates with a research interest in Cuba-related topics are also part of the network - learn more about this network

Radical Americas

The Radical Americas Network was established in 2012 to highlight the benefits of hemispheric, comparative and transnational approaches to the study of the various historical, political and social contexts in which radicalism has developed throughout the Americas. In January 2013 we held our inaugural symposium, a two-day event at UCL and the UCL Institute of the Americas which surpassed our expectations. The overwhelming response to our initial call for papers coupled with the good level of attendance and vibrant discussion throughout has inspired us to launch a publication which can disseminate such papers as those we enjoyed last year on an ongoing basis. We will also hold our second symposium in June 2014.

For further details please contact:

British Academics for a Colombia Under Peace

British Academics for a Colombia under Peace (BACUP). The BACUP network is open to all academics in the UK from any discipline who have an interest in Colombia. As a network of scholars, BACUP understands its role as building a group of critical friends to this peace process, contributing deeper understanding of the diverse historical roots of armed conflict and violence as well as looking forward to what a Colombia ‘under peace’ might look like.

For further information please contact any BACUP member here.

UCL-IA and the Eccles Centre for US Studies Network

UCL-Institute of the Americas (UCL-IA) has a longstanding collaboration with the British Library's Eccles Centre for North American Studies to co-organize an annual conference on a US Studies topic. This facilitates the research of UK Americanists and enables them to interact with US specialists in their field.  Each annual conference has produced a volume coedited by Professor Iwan Morgan and Professor Philip Davies, director of the Eccles Centre.

Social Policy in Latin America

A network of academics from UCL-Institute of the Americas, the University of Oxford and the University of Costa Rica. The network has hosted conferences and produces publications, including a special issue of the Economy and Society journal on Latin American Capitalism: Economic and Social Policy in Transition, Volume 38, No 1, February 2009.

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and Torture Prevention in Latin America

Together with Thomas Pegram (UCL Institute of Global Governance), Par Engstrom is currently directing a research project on National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and Torture Prevention in Latin America. The project was initially funded by a grant from the Human Rights and Democracy Programme of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The purpose of this research project is to strengthen the capacity of NHRIs in Latin America – Defensorías del Pueblo, Procuradurías and Comisiones de los Derechos Humanos – to engage with the Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council to promote State implementation of international torture prevention standards (CAT and OP-CAT). NHRIs as torture prevention mechanisms are well-placed to ensure better understanding of local context, monitor follow-up and facilitate implementation of CAT obligations and their role is increasingly recognised within UN structures.

The research project website can be accessed in English here and in Spanish here. The website highlights the important work of NHRIs in Latin America in the area of torture prevention and their engagement with the Universal Periodic Review process. It is also intended as an information ‘wiki-resource’ and toolkit for project stakeholders and those with a scholarly and/or professional interest in the work of NHRIs in Latin America and elsewhere. The website seeks to provide a venue for updates on new developments, events and announcements by NHRIs, project stakeholders, and partner institutions. The project convenors are currently drafting a scholarly article that draws on the project’s research findings to date. A policy document based on the proceedings of a workshop held in Buenos Aires in December 2012 is available here.

For more information on the research project please contact

Dr Par Engstrom

Standing Conference of Centres of Latin American Studies


The Standing Conference of Centres of Latin American Studies (the ‘Standing Conference’) was established in 1966 to coordinate the development of Latin American studies in the UK, including the establishment of the Journal of Latin American Studies in 1969.

The purpose of the Standing Conference is to provide a forum for departments and programmes of Latin American studies to communicate and collaborate on issues of strategic importance to the field, such as student numbers, library collections, staff appointments, visitors, topical events, and academic developments in the region.

The Standing Conference also provides input to government policy-makers on issues such as Research Council funding strategies.

The membership of the Standing Conference is open to Directors (or equivalent) of significant Latin American and Caribbean teaching and/or research programmes in UK universities. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, the original Parry centres of Latin American studies (at the Universities of Cambridge, Liverpool, London and Oxford) set up in the 1960s, as well as those established thereafter (Essex, Warwick, Portsmouth, Swansea, Manchester, Newcastle, and the centres for Brazilian studies at Oxford and King’s College London).

The President of the Society for Latin American Studies and the President of the Society for Caribbean Studies are also members. The Standing Conference may approve additional membership from time to time.

The term of office of individual members coincides with that of their role as Director or President. Membership of the Standing Conference is automatically conferred upon an incoming director, department head or president of existing member universities or societies. Changes to post-holders should be notified to the Secretary & Treasurer.

The Standing Conference is represented on the Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS), the UK Council of Area Studies Associations (UKCASA) and is recognised by HEFCE and the British Academy as a Learned Society.

As well as ordinary members, the Standing Conference has two office-holders: the Chair and the Secretary & Treasurer. The Chair is responsible for convening meetings and acting on behalf of the Standing Conference. The Secretary & Treasurer issues agendas and minutes for meetings and maintains the accounts.

The role of the Chair is held by the Director of the UCL-Institute of the Americas, or his or her nominee if the Director is not a Latin Americanist. The Secretary & Treasurer is the senior administrator of UCL-Institute of the Americas. The terms of service of both Chair and Secretary & Treasurer are ongoing.

The Institute for the Study of the Americas is charged by HEFCE to play a national role in providing this service to the UK Latin Americanist community.

Meetings are held twice a year, in May and November, and minutes are kept of the discussion. Members are notified of forthcoming meetings at the May meeting each year, as well as by means of a written agenda distributed one week before the meeting.

Five members of the Standing Conference constitutes a quorum for decision-making purposes. All members are eligible to vote.

Income and expenditure is monitored by the Secretary & Treasurer, who provides a detailed financial report to members at each meeting. All expenditure is authorised by the Chair of the Standing Conference and ratified by the membership by means of the financial reports.

The Standing Conference does not charge a regular membership fee, but may from time to time request contributions from its members. It may also administer grants on behalf of its members and the Latin Americanist community as a whole. It is supported by the Institute for the Study of the Americas with in-kind resources such as meeting venues, catering and administrative support.

Amendments to the Constitution
Amendments to the Constitution of the Standing Conference may be proposed prior to a meeting and agreed upon at a quorate meeting at which the Chair and Secretary & Treasurer are present.

Inter-American Human Rights Network

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.

For further details please contact:

Dr Par Engstrom on

Peter Low on