Daniel M Brinks

Daniel M Brinks

  • Professor of Government
  • Department Chair, Government

Faculty Profile: Daniel M Brinks

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Research interests: Daniel Brinks is Associate Professor of Government and Associate Professor of Law. He co-directs the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, and is active in the fields of Comparative Politics and Public Law. Dan's research focuses on the role of the law and courts in supporting or extending human rights and many of the basic rights associated with democracy, with a primary regional interest in Latin America. His forthcoming book examines constitutional change in Latin America since 1975, focusing especially on judicial institutions and constitutional review.

Current projects include a project seeking to understand what we mean by, and the political origins of, weak institutions in Latin America, in collaboration with Steve Levitsky and Vicky Murillo; a Ford Foundation-funded project on human rights and socio-economic inequality, in collaboration with Karen Engle and others; and an NSF-funded project to build convergent research communities around crucial questions in the global study of legal institutions, in collaboration with Jeff Staton and Rachel Cichowski. He also collaborates with researchers affiliated with the Centre on Law and Social Transformation, at the Christian Michelsen Institute, on a series of projects related to the realization of rights. 

Recent projects address the use of courts and law to enforce social and economic rights in the developing world, the development of the rule of law in Latin America, the judicial response to police violence in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, judicial independence, and the role of informal norms in the legal order. He is also interested in the study of democracy more generally, and has written on the classification of regimes in Latin America, and on the global diffusion of democracy. Prof. Brinks was born and raised in Argentina and practiced law in the United States for nearly ten years before turning to academia.

Courses taught: He teaches courses in Comparative Politics, Comparative Judicial Politics, Comparative Law, Democracy and Democratization, and Latin American Politics.

Recent Publications: He has published articles in journals such as Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Democracy en Español, the Texas Law Review and the Texas International Law Journal. His books Courting Social Justice: The Judicial Enforcement of Social and Economic Rights in the Developing World (co-edited with Varun Gauri), and The Judicial Response to Police Violence in Latin America: Inequality and the Rule of Law were both published by Cambridge University Press. His most recent book is a co-edited volume, Reflections on Uneven Democracies: The Legacy of Guillermo O'Donnell, published by Johns Hopkins UP.

Forthcoming book: The DNA of Constitutional Justice in Latin America: Politics, Governance, and Judicial Design (with Abby Blass).