Politics Faculty

Kent Eaton
  • Title
    • Distinguished Professor of Politics
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Politics Department
  • Affiliations Merrill College, Latin American & Latino Studies, Dolores Huerta Research Center for the Americas, Environmental Studies Department
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Fax
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Crown College Faculty Wing, 222
  • Office Hours Fall 2022: Wednesday 12-2
  • 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 (re)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

Honors, Awards and Grants

Daniel Elazar Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Political Science Association (2021)


Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Fellowship (2015)


UCSC Division of Social Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award (2008)


Selected Publications

























  • Politicians and Economic Reform in New Democracies: Argentina and the Philippines in the 1990s (Penn State University Press, 2002), part 1, part 2, and part 3