Professor Timothy J. Power

Professor Timothy J. Power
Course Director, Director of the Brazilian Studies Programme; Professor of Latin American Politics

I am a comparative political scientist with a deep commitment to interdisciplinary area studies. As an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts in the early 1980s, I studied both Latin American literature and political science. I then completed an MA in interdisciplinary Latin American Studies at the University of Florida in 1986. I completed my PhD in political science at the University of Notre Dame in 1993, working mainly with the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, a centre that bears many similarities to SIAS. I then taught at Louisiana State University and Florida International University before arriving in Oxford in 2005. From 2008 to 2012 I directed the Latin American Centre, and I continue to direct the Brazilian Studies Programme within the LAC.

My research concerns democratization and political institutions (parties, legislatures, and elections) in modern Latin America, especially Brazil. With regard to Brazilian politics, I have written on the democratic transition in the 1980s, on the role of the political right in the 1990s, on the politics of constitutional design, and on recent ideological convergence in the Cardoso and Lula years. More recently I have been working on the consequences of “coalitional presidentialism” in Brazil, and within SIAS I am collaborating on a cross-regional ESRC-funded project on this topic with Paul Chaisty (REES) and Nic Cheeseman (Africa). In 2015, the three of us are busy writing up the results of this project (

Some of my recent publications include “Theorizing a Moving Target: O’Donnell’s Changing Views of Postauthoritarian Regimes,” in Daniel Brinks, Marcelo Leiras, and Scott Mainwaring, eds., Reflections on Uneven Democracies: The Legacy of Guillermo O'Donnell (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014); and “Continuity in a Changing Brazil: The Transition from Lula to Dilma,” in Fábio de Castro, Kees Koonings, and Marianne Wiesebron, eds., Brazil under Lula: A Country in Transformation (Palgrave, 2014).

In my spare time I pitch for the Oxford Globetrotters, the most disorganised team in the Oxford Softball Association. When it is not raining, we play on Tuesday evenings at the BMW factory in Cowley.

Contact Information


Telephone: +44 (0)1865 284779