Daniel Brinks

Co-director (2010-2019); Professor of Government and of Law; Chair, Government Department
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Phone: 512-232-7252

Daniel Brinks is Professor of Government and of Law. He is the Chair of the Government Department, 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. He is currently at work on a project that examines constitutional change in Latin America since about 1975, focusing especially on judicial institutions and constitutional review. Other 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.

Professor Brinks was born and raised in Argentina and practiced law in the U.S. for nearly ten years before turning to academia. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. from the University of Michigan. He is an affiliated faculty member of Latin American Studies and is faculty advisor for the graduate human rights concentration in Latin American studies. He teaches courses in in Comparative Politics, Comparative Judicial Politics, Democracy and Democratization, and Latin American Politics.

He has published articles in journals such as Comparative Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Democracy en Español, 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.

View Professor Brinks' faculty profile.