Brown University shieldBrown University

Professor Richard Snyder Teaching and Research

Professor Richard Snyder’s research and teaching focus on comparative politics, with an emphasis on the political economy of development, political regimes, and Latin American politics.


POLS 1210: The Politics of Economic Transformation in Latin America   
POLS 1240: Politics, Markets, and States in Developing Countries

POLS 2090: Models of Excellence in Comparative Politics: Classic Works and the Scholars Who Produce Them   
DEVLS 2000: Theory and Research in Development I   


Richard Snyder’s research spans three core areas: (1) the Political Economy of Development; (2) Political Regimes and Regime Change; and (3) Craft and Method in Comparative Research. Links to selected publications and papers appear below.

I. Political Economy of Development


Dependency and Development in a Globalized World (with Patrick Heller and Dietrich Rueschemeyer), Special Issue of Studies in Comparative International D
44:4 (December 2009); 287-295. 
 The principles of analysis proposed 40 years ago by Cardoso and Faletto in Dependency and Development in Latin America provide a fruitful way to understand divergent patterns of development in the contemporary era of globalization.  This set of analytic principles combines a focus on distinct modes of national insertion into the global economy with a focus on the balance of domestic class forces, the capacity of state institutions, and contingent choices by political actors to explain the contrasting developmental fortunes of countries.  The contributors to this special issue demonstrate the vitality of these principles by harnessing them to the dual task of explaining how countries respond to the challenges of globalization and the consequences of these responses.  The critical, macroscopic, and possibilistic approach to political economy taken by the contributors offers an exciting and powerful way to understand the problems of development in our globalized world.  Contributors: Laszlo Bruszt, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jonathan H. Conning, Peter Evans, Bela Greskovits, John Harriss, Atul Kohli, Gerardo L. Munck, James A. Robinson, and Erik Wibbels.

“Does Illegality Breed Violence? Drug Trafficking and State-Sponsored Protection Rackets” (with Angelica Duran-Martinez) Crime, Law, and Social Change 52:3 (September 2009): 253-73. 

“Does Lootable Wealth Breed Disorder? A Political Economy of Extraction Framework,” Comparative Political Studies, 39:8 (October 2006) 943-968.  

“Diamonds, Blood, and Taxes: A Revenue-Centered Framework for Explaining Political Order,” (with Ravi Bhavnani), Journal of Conflict Resolution 49:4 (August 2005): 563-597.  

“After Neoliberalism: The Politics of Reregulation in Mexico,” World Politics 51:2 (January 1999): 173-204.

Politics after Neoliberalism: Reregulation in Mexico. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics, 2001.    During the past two decades, virtually all developing countries shifted from state-led to market-oriented neoliberal economic policies. This book analyzes fresh evidence from Southern Mexico about the effects of this global wave of policy reforms. The evidence challenges the widely held view that these reforms have set countries on a convergent path toward unregulated markets. The analysis shows that free-market reforms, rather than unleashing market forces, trigger the construction of different types of new regulatory institutions with contrasting consequences for economic efficiency and social justice. 

Strategies for Resource Management, Production, and Marketing in Rural Mexico (co-edited with Guadalupe Rodríguez Gómez). La Jolla, CA: The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego, 2000.  

Institutional Adaptation and Innovation in Rural Mexico (editor and co-author). La Jolla, CA: The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego, 1999.  

The Future Role of the Ejido in Rural Mexico (co-edited with Gabriel Torres). La Jolla, CA: The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego, 1998.  

I. Political Regimes and Regime Change

“Beyond Electoral Authoritarianism: The Spectrum of Nondemocratic Regimes” in Andreas Schedler, ed. Electoral Authoritarianism: The Dynamics of Unfree Competition (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006).  

“Legislative Malapportionment in Latin America: Historical and Comparative Perspectives,” (with David Samuels), in Edward L. Gibson, ed. Federalism and Democracy in Latin America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004).  

“The Value of a Vote: Malapportionment in Comparative Perspective” (with David Samuels), British Journal of Political Science, 31:4 (October 2001): 651-71.  

“Devaluing the Vote in Latin America” (with David Samuels), Journal of Democracy 12 (January 2001): 146-59.  

“The Missing Variable: Institutions and the Study of Regime Change” (with James Mahoney), Comparative Politics 32:1 (October 1999): 103-22.

“Rethinking Agency and Structure in the Study of Regime Change” (with James Mahoney), Studies in Comparative International Development 34:2 (Summer 1999): 3-32.  

“After the State Withdraws: Neoliberalism and Subnational Authoritarian Regimes in Mexico,” in Wayne A. Cornelius, Todd A. Eisenstadt, and Jane Hindley, eds. Subnational Politics and Democratization in Mexico. (La Jolla, CA: The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego, 1999).  

“Paths out of Sultanistic Regimes: Combining Structural and Voluntarist Perspectives,” in H.E. Chehabi and Juan J. Linz, eds., Sultanistic Regimes (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998).  

“Explaining Transitions from Neopatrimonial Dictatorships,” Comparative Politics 24:4 (July 1992): 379-99.  

III. Craft and Method in Comparative Research

Passion, Craft, and Method in Comparative Politics (with Gerardo L. Munck). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.  This book fills a void in comparative politics: the lack of a text that illuminates the human dimension of scholarship and the intricacies of the actual research process. It contains in-depth interviews with fifteen leading scholars in the field of comparative politics: Gabriel A. Almond, Robert H. Bates, David Collier, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, David D. Laitin, Arend Lijphart, Juan J. Linz, Barrington Moore, Jr., Guillermo O’Donnell, Adam Przeworski, Philippe C. Schmitter, James C. Scott, Theda Skocpol, and Alfred Stepan. These scholars discuss their intellectual formation, their major works and ideas, the nuts and bolts of the research process, their relationships with colleagues, collaborators and students, and the evolution of the field. 

"Who Publishes in Comparative Politics? Studying the World from the United States?" (with Gerardo L. Munck), PS: Political Science & Politics (April 2007): 339-346.  

“Debating the Direction of Comparative Politics: An Analysis of Leading Journals” (with Gerardo L. Munck), Comparative Political Studies, 40:1 (January 2007): 5-31.  Description of data set variables.

“Creative Hypothesis Generating in Comparative Research,” Qualitative Methods: Newsletter of the American Political Science Association Organized Section on Qualitative Methods (Fall 2005): 2-5.  

“El pasado, presente y futuro de la política comparada: un simposio” (with Gerardo L. Munck) Política y Gobierno (Mexico), 12:1 (2005): 127-156.  

“What Has Comparative Politics Accomplished?” (with Gerardo L. Munck) APSA-CP. Newsletter of the APSA Organized Section in Comparative Politics Vol. 15, Nº 2 (Summer 2004): 26-31.  

“Scaling Down: The Subnational Comparative Method,” Studies in Comparative International Development, 36:1 (Spring 2001): 93-110.  

Curriculum Vitae

Richard Snyders's CV