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 Encarnación, Program Director

Omar 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 Spain. Special research interests in authoritarianism, democratization, and social movements.

Omar G. Encarnación came to Bard in 1998, after completing his Ph.D. in politics at Princeton University.  He is the recipient of Princeton University's Presidential Fellowship and research awards and grants from the Council for European Studies, the Fulbright Program, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Research Council, and the Spanish Ministry of Culture.  He has been a visiting fellow at the political science departments of Yale University and New York University, the Georgetown University Center of Latin American Studies, 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., and a consultant for the State Department, The World Bank, and Freedom House.  In 2017 he was elected to a three-year term to the APSA Council, the governing body of the American Political Science Association.

Professor Encarnación is the author, most recently, of Out in the Periphery: Latin America's Gay Rights Revolution and more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles and reviews.  His political commentary has appeared in Current History, Foreign Affairs, The Nation, Foreign Policy, The New York Review of Books, and The New York Times, among other publications.  He is currently at work on A Matter of Equality, a book about why liberal democracies diverge in the level of civil rights protections offered to sexual minorities.

Out in the Periphery: Latin America's Gay Rights Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2016).
Democracy without Justice in Spain: The Politics of Forgetting (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).
Spanish Politics: From Dictatorship to Democracy (Polity Press, 2008).

Selected Academic Essays

  • "A Latin American Puzzle: Gay Rights Landscapes in Argentina and Brazil," Human Rights QuarterlyVol. 4 (1), February 2018.
  • "Peculiar but not Unique: Spain's Politics of Forgetting," Aportes, Vol. 32, No. 94 (2017).
  • "Gay Rights: Why Democracy Matters," Journal of Democracy, Vol. 25 (3) (July 2014).
  • “International Influence, Domestic Activism, and Gay Rights in Argentina,” Political Science Quarterly 128 (4), Winter 2013-14.)
  • "Latin America's Gay Rights Revolution," Journal of Democracy, Vol. 22 (2) (April 2011).
  • “Justice in Times of Transition: The Lessons from the Iberian Experience,” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 56 (1), 2012.
  •  “Reconciliation After Democratization: Coping with the Past in Spain,” Political Science Quarterly 123 (3), 2008.
  • “Civil Society Reconsidered,” Comparative Politics 38 (3), 2006.
  • “Labor and Pacted Democracy: Post-Franco Spain in Comparative Perspective,” Comparative Politics 33 (3), 2001.
  • “Civil Society and the Consolidation of Democracy in Spain,” Political Science Quarterly 116 (1), 2001.

Other Writings

  • “The Rise and Fall of the Latin American Left," The Nation, May 9, 2018.  
  • “The Trumpification of the Latin American Right,” Foreign Policy, April 15, 2018;
  • “Why Spanish Nationalism is on the Rise," Foreign Affairs, February 5, 2018. 
  • "Homage to Catalonia?" The New York Review of Books, November 9, 2017.
  • "Catalonia's Martyrdom Strategy Doesn't Stand A Prayer," Foreign Policy, November 1, 2017.
  • “The Catalan Martyr and the Spanish Strongman,” The New York Times, October 28, 2017. 
  • "The Ghosts of Franco Still Haunt Catalonia," Foreign Policy, October 5, 2017
  • "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 Global Backlash against Gay Rights: How Homophobia Became a Political Tool,” Foreign Affairs, May 2, 2017.
  • "American Caudillo: Trump and the Latino-Americanization of U.S. Politics," Foreign Affairs, May 12, 2016.
  • "The Troubled Rise of Gay Rights Diplomacy," Current History, January 2016.
  • “Beyond Machismo: How Latin America Came to Embrace Gay Marriage,” Foreign Affairs, January 11, 2016.
  • “Spain’s Two-Party Era is Over, but Old Powers Still Count,” World Politics Review, December 24, 2015.
  • “Ireland’s Referendum is not a Step Forward for Gay Rights,” The Irish Times, May 26, 2015.
  • “Why is Latin America so Progressive on Gay Rights, The New York Times (January 28, 2014.
  • “Turning Way from Painful Chapters,” The New York Times, January 6, 2014.  

back to list of faculty