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Todd Eisenstadt Professor Department of Government

Degrees
PhD University of California, San Diego
MA The Johns Hopkins University
BA Brown University

Favorite Spot on Campus
Anywhere there is good coffee
Bio

Professor Eisenstadt has worked on five continents, publishing multiple award-winning books and dozens of articles. He studies development with research that focuses on democratization and environmental politics. He is presently completing a book with Karleen West using a National Science Foundation-funded survey conducted with Ecuadorian partners to study rural, indigenous communities to understand how they experience climate vulnerability, especially in areas of heavy oil extraction. Who Speaks for Nature? Indigenous Environmental Movements, Public Opinion, and Ecuador's Petro-State is slated for publication by Oxford University Press in 2019, and stems in part from an earlier book, Politics, Identity, and Mexico's Indigenous Rights Movements (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

His research also looks at the relationship between constitution-making processes and democratization across scores of nations, and the implementation of judicial reforms in Mexico and Latin America. Along these lines, he and co-authors Carl LeVan and Tofigh Maboudi just published Constituents Before Assembly: Participation, Deliberation, and Representation in the Crafting of New Constitutions (Cambridge University Press, 2017). He also published Courting Democracy in Mexico: Party Strategies and Electoral Institutions (Cambridge University Press, 2004 based on his dissertation), and dozens of journal articles and book chapters on this topic. His research has been funded by the Fulbright Commission, the National Security Education Program (NSEP), the Ford and Mellon foundations, USAID, and the NSF.

A former director of multiple United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grants in Mexico, Eisenstadt has trained hundreds of stakeholders in judicial reform implementation, electoral observation and other government processes there. Formerly an award-winning print journalist and Capitol Hill staffer, Eisenstadt has worked as a consultant for USAID, the Organization of American States, and several development companies. The 2016-17 chair of American University’s Faculty Senate, and Faculty Trustee for the university, Eisenstadt has undertaken a range of administrative positions. From 2009-2012 Eisenstadt served as chair of the Department of Government and has served multiple terms as the Doctoral Program Director. His doctoral students have received awards from the NSF, the Fulbright, Boren, and Inter-American Foundations, and he has held visiting appointments at El Colegio de México and CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) in Mexico City, Harvard University, the University of California, San Diego, and the Latin American Social Science Faculty (FLACSO) in Quito, Ecuador.

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • Other AU Affiliation
    Faculty Affiliate, SIS

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

Recent Grants:

National Science Foundation, 2014-2017 principal investigator (co-PI Karleen West, SUNY-Geneseo) for book "Who Speaks for Nature? Indigenous Environmental Movements, Public Opinion, and Ecuador's Petro-State."

Latin American Studies Association/Mellon Foundation, 2012 principal investigator (co-PI Carl LeVan of American University) for “From Parchment to Practice: Explaining When New Constitutions Fail to Improve Democracy."

USAID, Higher Education and Development TIES Program for “Uniting Law and Society in Oaxaca, Mexico: A Research and Teaching Program.”

Recent Awards:

Outstanding Doctoral Mentorship Award, American University's annual award to a doctoral advisor, 2017. William M. LeoGrande Award for best book on Latin American or Latino Studies published during 2011-2012 by a member of the American University community for Politics, Identity, and Mexico’s Indigenous Rights Movements.

Van Cott Award from the Political Institutions Section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), 2012, for Politics, Identity, and Mexico’s Indigenous Rights Movements, which was named by a jury as best book on political institutions since the last LASA Congress in 2010.

Work In Progress

"Climate Change-Induced Migration in Bangladesh:  Findings from the Focus Group Discussions in Vulnerable Areas," Todd Eisenstadt, Sk. Tawfique M. Haque, Jie Lu, and Mizanur Rahman, 2017 typescript.

"Where the Debate between Development and Environmentalism Gets Personal: Public Opinion, Vulnerability, and Living with Extraction on Ecuador's Oil Frontier," Todd Eisenstadt and Karleen West (Comparative Politics, January 2017)

"Indigenous Belief Systems, Science and Resource Extraction:  Climate Change Attitudes in Ecuador and the Global South," Todd Eisenstadt and Karleen West (Global Environmental Politics, Feburary 2017)

 

Selected Publications

Recent Books

Constituents before Assembly:  Participation, Deliberation, and Representation in the Crafting of New Constitutions (with A. Carl LeVan and Tofigh Maboudi).  New York:  Cambridge University Press.

Latin America’s Multicultural Movements and the Struggle Between Communitarianism, Autonomy, and Human Rights. (with Mike Danielson, Jaime Bailon, and Carlos Sorroza, eds.) New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Politics, Identity, and Mexico's Indigenous Rights Movements. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Contentious Politics Series. Kindle version also published.

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

U.S.-Latin American relations, politics in Latin America, immigration, democratization, Mexico, ethnic identity, survey research, indigenous rights movement, ethnic politics, environment

Additional Information

Todd Eisenstadt studies democratization, identity and social movements, public opinion, political parties, and election finance—mainly in Latin America. Eisenstadt recently attended the UN climate summit in Lima, Peru. He is the principal researcher of the grant Uniting Law and Society in Oaxaca, Mexico: A Research and Teaching Program, a project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Higher Education and Development Program. He is also the author of Courting Democracy in Mexico and has authored and edited four other books. He is completing the manuscript Surveying the Silence: Liberal and Communal Identities in Southern Mexico’s Indigenous Rights Movement. Between 2000 and 2005, Eisenstadt directed USAID’s Mexico Elections Project, including academic research and the training of hundreds of observers of local elections and other government processes in Mexico. He is a former print journalist and Capitol Hill staffer.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Related Links

AU News & Achievements

Veiled women casting ballots for a vote.

Government & Politics ·

Can Writing a New Constitution Improve Democracy?

A constitution does not necessarily lead to more democracy, but it could if a country is willing to involve citizens of all types and backgrounds, in crafting it early on.
Full Story

Professor Todd Eisenstadt

Achievements ·

NSF Funds Research on Indigenous Efforts to Mitigate Environmental Impacts

Prof. Eisenstadt will begin a multi-year project researching the factors that lead individuals in indigenous communities to collectively protect a public good.
Full Story

Todd Eisenstadt's Comparative Environmental Politics class

On Campus ·

Undergrads Surpass World Leaders in Crafting Global Environmental Agreement

While real-world efforts failed at nailing down a global environmental agreement, Prof. Todd Eisenstadt's students worked out a deal in simulated international negotiations.
Full Story

Eisenstadt LeVan and Maboudi

Research ·

We, the People: Citizen Input Helps Constitutions, Study Suggests

A study by Todd Eisenstadt, Carl LeVan, and Tofigh Maboudi suggests that democracies may be stronger when ordinary citizens are involved in the initial stages of reforming of their country’s constitution.
Full Story

Professor Todd Eisenstadt

Research ·

Professor Todd Eisenstadt and Two Other Scholars Receive Inaugural LeoGrande Honors

The LeoGrande Award and Prize go to the best book on Latin American or Latino studies published by an AU faculty member and the best book on U.S.-Latin American relations, respectively.
Full Story

Research ·

AU Conference Addresses Democracy Gap

"The Gap from Parchment to Practice: Ambivalent Effects of Constitutions in Democratizing Countries” will cover issues in new democracies including Colombia, Venezuala, Bolivia, and Egypt.
Full Story

Achievements ·

Professors Eisenstadt, Edelson, and Lane Win Elections in AU Faculty Senate

SPA congratulates Professors Todd Eisenstadt, Chris Edelson and Ruth Lane on their elections in American University’s Faculty Senate.
Full Story

spa_yelle news picture

Research ·

Award-Winning PhD Student’s Research in Drug Violence, Public Opinion and Law Enforcement in Mexico Comes at a Critical Time

PhD Jennifer Yelle's Award Winning Policy-Shaping Research on Drug Violence, Public Opinion and Law Enforcement in Mexico
Full Story