International Forum for Democratic Studies Research Council Member

Abraham F. Lowenthal

University of Southern California

Abraham F. Lowenthal is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the University of Southern California and President Emeritus of the Pacific Council on International Policy; an adjunct professor (research) at Brown’s Watson Institute and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was the founding director of both the Latin American Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and of the Inter-American Dialogue, and served as a Ford Foundation official in Latin America, as director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and on numerous editorial and governance boards. His AB, MPA and PhD are all from Harvard University.

Prof. Lowenthal’s research interests include U.S.-Latin American relations, constructing democratic governance, the international role in promoting democratic governance, the relationships between scholars and policymakers in international affairs, and the craft of think tank institution-building.

Prof. Lowenthal helped organize the Wilson Center’s landmark project on transitions from authoritarian rule, leading to the classic volume co-edited by Guillermo O’Donnell, Philippe Schmitter and Laurence Whitehead, for which Prof. Lowenthal wrote the Foreword. Lowenthal is currently co-directing, with Sergio Bitar, a project on “Transition to Democracy: Learning Lessons from Political Leaders,” featuring in-depth interviews with 13 former presidents who helped achieve democratic transitions in nine countries on five continents.

He is the author of The Dominican Intervention (Harvard, 1972), Partners in Conflict: The United States and Latin America (Johns Hopkins, 1987) and Global California (Stanford, 2009). He has edited or coedited and contributed to a dozen other volumes including The Peruvian Experiment, Exporting Democracy: The United States and Latin America, Constructing Democratic Governance, and Latin America in a New World. He as published scores of book chapters and articles, including seven in Foreign Affairs, five in Foreign Policy, four in the Journal of Democracy, two in World Politics, two in Washington Quarterly, one in International Security, one in The American Interest, and multiple articles in each of the major Latin American journals on international affairs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

Forum Publications

“Latin America at the Century’s Turn,” Journal of Democracy (April, 2000). Also published in Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner, The Global Divergence of Democracy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001).

“Battling the Undertow: Latin American Democracy and the ‘Third Wave,’” in Larry Diamond and Marc Plattner, eds., Consolidating Third World Democracy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997).

“The Problems of Simultaneous Transitions,” co-authored with Leslie Elliott Armijo and Thomas Biersteker, Journal of Democracy (Oct. 1994)

“Latin America’s Fragile Democracies,” co-authored with Peter Hakim, Journal of Democracy (Summer 1991). Also published in Marc F. Plattner and Larry Diamond, eds., The Global Resurgence of Democracy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993).