Political Science Now

Meet New Council Member, Omar G. Encarnación of Bard College


Omar G. Encarnación, Bard College

Omar G. Encarnación is Professor of Political Studies at Bard College, where he teaches comparative politics and Latin American and Iberian studies.  His research focuses on the causes and consequences of transitions to democracy, the role of civil society in the process of democratization, and the policy choices that new democracies make to cope with a difficult and painful past.  He is the author of four books, including, Democracy without Justice in Spain: The Politics of Forgetting (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014) and Out in the Periphery: Latin America’s Gay Rights Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2016), and more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles and reviews published in Comparative Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Democracy, Mediterranean Quarterly, West European Politics, Acta Politica, Human Rights Quarterly, Perspectives on Politics, Ethics & International Affairs, South European Society and Politics, and Studies in Comparative International Development.  His political commentary appears in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Wilson Quarterly, Current History, Orbis, Global Dialogue, World Policy Journal, The Irish Times, and World Politics Review.

Encarnación received his Ph.D. from the department of politics of Princeton University, and taught at Sarah Lawrence College prior to coming to Bard.  While at Princeton, he was the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including Princeton University’s Presidential Fellowship, the Council for European Studies Pre-dissertation Fellowship, and a Fulbright Dissertation Fellowship to Spain.  Since completing the Ph.D., he has been awarded a Ford Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship and research grants from the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the National Research Council, and has been named a visiting fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences of the Juan March Institute in Madrid, Georgetown University’s Center for Latin American Studies, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC, and the political science department of New York University.  He has worked as a consultant for the U.S. State Department, the World Bank, and Freedom House.  Past service for APSA includes co-founding the Iberian politics group and serving as program chair for the comparative democratization section.

Statement of Views
I look forward to my service in the APSA Council, which I regard as an honor.  My priorities will be: (1) advocating for support for scholars at liberal arts colleges; (2) improving the teaching of political science at the undergraduate level; and (3) enhancing the profile of under-represented groups in the discipline.