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Jeffrey W. Rubin

Associate Professor of History, Boston University

A specialist on social movements in Latin America, Rubin combines innovative methodological approaches with the study of democratic possibility in Latin America over the past thirty years. Rubin’s work is ethnographic, collaborative, interdisciplinary, and transnational.

Jeffrey W. Rubin is the author of Decentering the Regime: Ethnicity, Radicalism, and Democracy in Juchitán, Mexico (Duke 1997), co-author of Sustaining Activism: A Brazilian Women's Movement and a Father-Daughter Collaboration (Duke 2013), and co-editor of Enduring Reform: Progressive Activism and Business Responses in Latin America's Democracies (Pittsburgh 2014), Lived Religion and Lived Citizenship in Latin America's Zones of Crisis (Latin American Research Review 2014), and Beyond Civil Society: Activism, Participation, and Protest in 21st Century Latin America (Duke 2017).

Rubin’s current project, Seeing and Not Seeing: Essays on Democratic Possibility in Latin America and Beyond, argues that in order to understand the dynamic and unstable mixes of democracy and violence, economic expansion and continuing exclusions, that characterize Latin America today – and to discern possibilities for and limits to progressive reform in this context – it is essential to conceptualize historical forces and political actors not as coherent and bounded, but rather as made up of multiple and changing forces, strands, and cultures.


  • –present
    Professor of History, Boston University