Politics Faculty

Kent Eaton
  • Title
    • Professor of Politics
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Politics Department
  • Affiliations Merrill College, Latin American & Latino Studies, Research Center for the Americas, Environmental Studies Department
  • Phone
    831-459-4920
  • Email
  • Fax
    831-459-3125
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Crown College Faculty Wing, 222
  • Office Hours Winter 2021: Wednesday 1-3
  • Mail Stop Merrill/Crown Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Latin American and Latino Studies, Comparative Politics, Political Science, Politics
  • Courses Politics 60: Introduction to Comparative Politics, Politics 140c: Latin American Politics, Politics 144: Politics in the Andes, Politics 147: Territorial Conflict: Politics in Divided Societies, Politics 190v: States in the Global South, Politics 200c: Political Economy, Politics 243: Comparative Methods

Research Interests

Kent Eaton's research examines the interplay between politics and territory, focusing on the territorial organization of states in the world today.  His work explores how territorial interests and identities impact political outcomes -- including democracy, development and security -- and how political conflict in turn shapes the logic of territorial institutions. Specializing in comparative politics, Prof. Eaton's current projects include the design and performance of federal institutions, the causes and consequences of decentralization, and the formation and evolution of movements for territorial autonomy. Beginning in 1990 he has conducted field research in a number of Latin American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay.

Biography, Education and Training

Stanford University, B.A. International Relations, 1990

Yale University, Ph.D. Political Science, 1998

Selected Publications

  • "Territorial Peace without Territorial Governments: The Centralizing Logic of the 2016 Colombian Peace Accord," Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, forthcoming 2021
  • "Bogotá's Left Turn: Counter-Neoliberalization in Colombia," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 44(1) 2020: 1-17
  • "Latin American Politics and the Subnational Comparative Method," Latin American Politics and Society 62(3) 2020: 149-72
  • "Politics across Territory in Latin America," Latin American Research Review 54(2) 2019: 532-9
  • Territory and Ideology in Latin America: Policy Conflicts between National and Subnational Governments (Oxford University Press, 2017)  Chapter 1
  • "Subnational Authoritarianism and Democratization in Colombia: Divergent Paths in Cesar and Magdalena," with Juan Diego Prieto, in Tina Hilgers and Laura Macdonald, eds., Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean (Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 153-172.
  • "Challenges of Party Building in the Bolivian East," in Steven Levitsky, James Loxton, Brandon Van Dyck and Jorge Dominguez, eds., Challenges of Party Building in Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp. 383-411. 
  • "Teachers, Mayors, and the Transformation of Clientelism in Colombia," with Cristopher Chambers-Ju, in Diego Abente Brun and Larry Diamond, eds., Clientelism, Social Policy, and the Quality of Democracy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), pp. 88-113.
  • Politics beyond the Capital: The Design of Subnational Institutions in South America (Stanford University Press, 2004)
  • Politicians and Economic Reform in New Democracies: Argentina and the Philippines in the 1990s (Penn State University Press, 2002)