Professor of Comparative Politics, Central European University

Julia Buxton is a specialist on Latin America and the region’s evolving political, economic and security architecture. She is an expert on Venezuela, receiving her PhD from the London School of Economics, where she also studied for her MA (Distinction) in Comparative Politics. Outside of her geographic specialism, Julia has thematic expertise on democratisation and transition processes, post conflict recovery (SSR: Security Sector Reform; DDR: Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration) and conflict analysis, including conflict sensitive design and policy implementation, as well as gender and gender sensitive design. Her work in this area is based on her policy and consultancy experience, including with USAID, Sida (Sweden), Foreign Ministry of Finland and the UK Department for International Development. Buxton previously directed the British Council INSPIRE three year capacity building partnership with Fatima Jinnah Women University in Pakistan.

Pulling her diverse research strands together is her academic and policy work on narcotic drugs. A published expert on the drug trade, Julia has a particular interest in the impact of narcotic drugs and counter narcotics policies on development, peace building, poverty and human rights. At SPP, Buxton is Professor of Comparative Politics and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Programs. She has previously served as Department head in the UK university system and led the Venezuela program at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service.

Julia is also a research consultant at the OSF funded Global Drugs Observatory, Swansea University; contributor to the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Latin American Development Bank (CAF) sponsored project on drug policy reform in Latin America with Universidad Torcuato Di Tella and Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales, Buenos Aires; a Commissioner for the Lancet special edition on Drugs and Health, convenor of the OSF sponsored civil society mechanism for progressive drug policy in European Union countries; and a contributor to the UNRISD (United Nations Research Institute for Social Development) project on social welfare in emerging economies contributing paper/book chapter, Social Policy in Venezuela: Bucking Neoliberalism or Unsustainable Clientelism.

Her academic publications include:

Drugs and Development: The Great Disconnect and (with T. Bingham) The Rise and Challenge of Dark Net Drug Markets (both January 2015, Global Drug Policy Observatory, University of Swansea); ‘Alternative Agendas in Peacekeeping’ in K. Kenkel, South American Peace Ops, (2013, Routledge); ‘The Practitioner’s Perspective’ and ‘Tailoring Training in Gender, Peace, Conflict and Development’ in special edition of Journal of Peace, Conflict & Development Issue 19, December 2012; ‘Forward into History: Understanding Barack Obama’s Latin America Policy’ Special Edition of Latin American Perspectives, Summer 2011; The Politics of Drugs, (ed) (2010, Routledge); ‘South America, Peace Operations and MINUSTAH: The View from Venezuela’ in Special Issue, South American Perspectives on Peace Operations, International Peacekeeping, Vol 17, no. 5, Nov 2010; ‘Understanding Participatory Processes’ in D. Smilde and D. Hellinger (eds) Participation and Politics in Venezuela’s Bolivarian Democracy, (2010, Duke University Press); ‘Opportunity Lost: Alternative Development in Drug Control’ in J. Tokatlian (ed) Old Wars: New Thinking, (2010, Libros Zorazal); ‘A History of Drug Control’ in P. Keefer and N. Loayza (eds) Innocent Bystanders, (2010, World Bank Publications); ‘European Perspectives on Hugo Chavez’ in T. Maingot (ed) Ten Years of Bolivarian Foreign Policy, (2010, University of Miami Press); ‘The UK drug problem in global perspective’, Soundings, Issue 42, Summer 2009; ‘Bolivarianism as Venezuela’s Post-Crisis Alternative’ in J. Grugel and P. Riggirozzi (eds) Governance after Neoliberalism in Latin America, (2009, Palgrave); ‘Venezuela: The Political Evolution of Bolivarianism’ in G. Lievesley and S. Ludlam (eds) Reclaiming Latin America: Experiments in Radical Social Democracy, (2009, Zed); with J. McCoy ‘Politica, Protagonismo y rendicion de cuentas en la Venezuela Bolivariana’, Revista Venezolana de Economia y Ciencias Sociales. Vol. 14, No. 1. (2008); ‘Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution’ in Global Dialogue, Vol. 10, (2008), Special Edition Latin America Turns Left; ‘The Historical Foundations of the Narcotic Drug Control Regime', World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 4553, (2008); 'A South American Perspective' in K. Omeje (ed) Extractive Economies and Conflicts in the Global South: Multi-Regional Perspectives on Rentier Politics, (2008, Ashgate); ‘National Identity and Political Violence: the Case of Venezuela' in W. Fowler and P. Lambert (eds) Political Violence and the Construction of National Identity in Latin America, (2007, Palgrave); The Political Economy of Narcotic Drugs, (2006, Zed); Editor - special edition of Democratization 'Securing Democracy in Complex Environments' Frank Cass, Winter (2006); Editor with O. Greene and C. Salonius Pasternak, Conflict Prevention, Management and Reduction in Africa (eds) Foreign Ministry of Finland Publication, (2006), chapter author ‘An Assessment of the Democratic Wave in Africa’; ‘Venezuela's Contemporary Political Crisis in Historical Perspective' Bulletin of Latin American Research 24, 3, (2005); 'Pacts and Polarisation' in Special Edition of Iberoamericana, Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Institute of Latin American Studies, Stockholm, Easter (2004); 'The Economics of Chavismo' in S. Ellner and D. Hellinger (eds.) Venezuelan Politics in the Chavez Era (2003, Lynne Rienner); The Failure of Political Reform in Venezuela (2001, Ashgate);

Commissioned policy briefs for donor and development agencies include: Lessons Learned in Mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 (2012); Analysis of peace building opportunities Burma (2012); Assessment of civil society funding priorities, West Africa (2010); Assessment of Country Strategy, East Timor (2010) Assessment of Support to LGBTI Groups Uganda (2009); Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Guatemala and Liberia (2009); Assessment of the Conflict Sensitivity of the LVAMP2 Project: Lake Victoria Basin (2009) Sida; Indicators for Appraising Development Agency Training Programmes (2009); Major report Assessment of the Conflict Sensitivity of donor funded NGO programs: Sub-Saharan Africa (2008); Field guide to Implementing UNSCR 1325 (2008); Major report Analysis of Donor policy and programs, Iraq (2008); Assessment of the Conflict Sensitivity of Democracy and Peace Programs, Zimbabwe (2008); Assessment of Georgian IDP Housing Program (2008); Assessment of Peace Support to Women's Organizations: Palestine (2007); Lesbians, gay men and transgendered people in situations of violent conflict (2007); Terrorism and Development Co-operation (2007); Options for Arms Management: Nepal with O. Greene and J. Ginifer (2007) DFID; Anti-poverty programming: Colombia (2006); Mapping of Political Actors: Bolivia (2006); Drivers of Violence and Insecurity in Central America (2006); Options for Constitutional Reform in Nepal (2005) DFID; Election Security Assessment: Nepal (2005) USAID.


  • –present
    Professor of Comparative Politics, Central European University