Bard’s political studies faculty teaches courses that cover the breadth of the discipline, with a focus on comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and American politics.  The faculty also has expertise in a variety of foreign geographic areas, including Latin America, Western Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East, and conducts research in a wide range of subjects, including political activism, terrorism and war, and democratic development.  Additional faculty resources are available at Bard's Global and Internatioal Affairs Program (BGIA), based in New York City, which allows Bard studens to pursue course work in international studies alongside intership opportunities at major international bodies and non-governmental organizations.  See below for individual profiles.
Omar G. Encarnación, Program Director

Omar G. Encarnación, Program Director

Professor of Political Studies
Office: Aspinwall 211
Phone: 845-758-7230
E-mail: encarna@bard.edu

Program Affiliations: Latin American and Iberian Studies, Global and International Studies, and Human Rights

Teaching and Research Interests: Comparative politics with a focus on contemporary Latin America and Western Europe. Special research interests in democratization, authoritarianism, and social movements, especially LGBT movements.

Omar G. Encarnación came to Bard in 1998, after completing his Ph.D. in politics at Princeton University and a post-doctoral year at Georgetown University's Center for Latin American Studies.  Among his numerous academic fellowships are Princeton University's Presidential Fellowship, a Council for European Studies Pre-dissertation Fellowship, a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Fellowship to Spain, a writing fellowship from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and a Ford Foundation/National Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship.  He has been a visiting fellow at the political science departments of Yale University and New York University, the Center for the Advanced Study in the Social Sciences of the Juan March Institute in Madrid, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC.  He has served as consultant for the State Department, The World Bank, and Freedom House.  In 2017 he was elected to a three-year term as a member of the APSA Council, the governing body of the American Political Science Association.

Professor Encarnación is the author of four books, including Out in the Periphery: Latin America's Gay Rights Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016) and Democracy without Justice in Spain: The Politics of Forgetting (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).  His peer-reviewed articles appear in Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Human Rights Quarterly, Journal of Democracy, International Studies Quarterly, West European Politics, and Studies in Comparative International Development.  His political commentary can be found in such publications as Current History, The Nation, The Wilson Quarterly, Foreign Affairs, World Policy Journal, and The New York Times.  He is currently at work on A Matter of Equality, a book that explains the roots of divergent "gay rights landscapes" in Spain, Argentina, Brazil, and the United States.

Recent Publications

  • "A Latin Puzzle: Gay Rights Landscapes in Argentina and Brazil," Human Rights Quarterly, forthcoming.
  • "Amid Crisis in Brazil, the Evangelical Bloc Emerges as a Political Power," The Nation, August 16, 2017.
  • "The Patriarchy's Revenge: How Retro-Macho Politics Doomed Dilma Rousseff," World Policy Journal, Spring 2017.
  • “The Rise of Retro-macho Politics,” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, June 9, 2017.
  • "American Caudillo: Trump and the Latino-Americanization of U.S. Politics," Foreign Affairs, May 12, 2016.
  • “Spain’s Two-Party Era is Over, but Old Powers Still Count,” World Politics Review, December 24, 2015
  • "The Troubled Rise of Gay Rights Diplomacy," Current History, January 2016.
  • "Gay Rights: Why Democracy Matters," Journal of Democracy (July 2014).
  • “Why is Latin America so Progressive on Gay Rights?,” The New York Times, January 28, 2014.
  • "Justice in Times of Transition: Lessons from the Iberian Experience," International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 56 (1), 2012. 

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