International Forum for Democratic Studies Research Council Member

Terry Lynn Karl

Stanford University

Terry Lynn Karl is a professor of political science at Stanford University, where she has also been named the Gildred Professor of Latin American Studies and serves as a senior research scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. She has published widely on comparative politics and international relations, with special emphasis on the politics of oil-exporting countries, transitions to democracy, problems of inequality, the global politics of human rights, and the resolution of civil wars. Her works on oil, human rights and democracy include The Paradox of Plenty: Oil Booms and Petro-States (University of California Press, 1998), honored as one of the two best books on Latin America by the Latin American Studies Association, Bottom of the Barrel: Africa’s Oil Boom and the Poor (2004 with Ian Gary), New and Old Oil Wars (2007 with Mary Kaldor and Yahia Said), and Overcoming the Resource Curse (2007 with Joseph Stiglitz, Jeffrey Sachs et al). She also co-authored Limits of Competition (MIT Press, 1996), winner of the Twelve Stars Environmental Prize from the European Community. Prof. Karl has published extensively on comparative democratization, ending civil wars in Central America, and political economy. She has conducted field research throughout Latin America, West Africa and Eastern Europe. Her work has been translated into more than 15 languages, and she appears frequently in international, national, and local media.

Prof. Karl has a strong interest in U.S. foreign policy and has prepared expert testimony for the U.S. Congress, U.S. Courts, and the United Nations. She served as an advisor to chief U.N. peace negotiators in El Salvador and Guatemala and monitored elections for the United Nations. She accompanied numerous congressional delegations to Central America, lectured frequently before officials of the Department of State, Defense, and the Agency for International Development, and served as an adviser to the Chairman of the House Sub-Committee on Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States Congress. She has been an expert witness in major human rights and war crimes trials in the United States and Europe regarding command responsibility and liability for crimes against humanity.