Julia Buxton Joins SPP as Professor of Comparative Politics

November 6, 2013

The School of Public Policy is pleased to announce that Julia Buxton will join the SPP founding faculty as professor of Comparative Politics.

Buxton brings to the School a diverse portfolio of academic, policy and teaching experience. A specialist on South America and the region's rapidly evolving political, economic and security architecture she is an expert on Venezuela, receiving her PhD from the London School of Economics, where she also studied for her MA (Distinction) in Comparative Politics. Buxton is widely published on South America, including books, journal articles and media commentary and was previously Adjunct Professor in the Edmund J. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where she directed the Venezuela Studies program. She is a member of the Latin American Studies Association and has served as track chair for Violence and (In) Security. Her current research focuses on the changing dynamics of the Inter-American Security System that frames relations between North and South America and the implications of new regional peace and security norms for hemispheric ties.

Outside of her geographic specialism, Buxton has thematic expertise on democratisation and transition processes, post conflict recovery and conflict analysis, including conflict sensitive design and policy implementation, as well as gender, and gender sensitive design. Her work in this area is based on her policy and consultancy experience, including with USAID, SIDA and the UK Department for International Development. She has authored and contributed to over thirty commissioned reports relating to peace, conflict and security (2006-2012), including analysis of gender based violence, implementation of UNSCR 1325 and assessments of the conflict sensitivity of donor programs in West Africa, South and Central America, and South East and South West Asia. She has substantial experience in private sector consultancy, particularly as these relate to oil, industrial and financial investment and risk, and is Venezuela analyst at Oxford Analytica.

Pulling Buxton's diverse research strands together is her academic and policy work on narcotics. A published expert on the drug trade, Buxton has a particular interest in the impact of narcotics and counter narcotics policies on development, peace building, poverty and human rights. She is currently ethical adviser on the LINKSCH project 'Drug Policy: Unintended Impacts' directed by Dr. Alex Marshall, Glasgow University and was a member of the Andean Development Corporation project on drug policy reform in South America, contributing a working paper on the limitations of alternative development strategies in counter narcotics efforts. She is currently research consultant at the OSF funded Global Drugs Observatory at Swansea University and contributes to the CEU's drug policy summer school.

Buxton's work is underpinned by a strong personal commitment to social justice. She has a particular interest in mechanisms and policies that insulate communities from economic shocks, 'non-traditional' strategies for development and poverty alleviation, and the role of natural resources in exacerbating or alleviating inequality.

Her research and learning have been informed by the diversity of students and short course participants that she has worked with during her twenty years of teaching. This has included undergraduate and postgraduate students from around the world, as well as international participants in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Chevening programs for countries emerging from conflict. Reflecting her strong background in professional short course training, Buxton worked on UK Ministry of Defence programmes (2006-2012), with the Ministry of Political Reform in Jordan (2011) and directed a three-year British Council funded capacity building partnership with Fatima Jinnah Women's University in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.