Stephen B. Kaplan

photo: Stephen Kaplan
Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs
Room 470 Monroe Hall
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Political economy of global markets and development, politics of macroeconomic policymaking, Chinese foreign economic policy, and Latin American politics.

Curriculum Vitae

Stephen B. Kaplan is an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs. Professor Kaplan's research and teaching interests focus on the frontiers of international and comparative political economy, where he specializes in the political economy of global finance and development, the rise of China in the Western Hemisphere, and Latin American politics.

Professor Kaplan joined the GWU faculty in the fall of 2010 after completing a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University and his Ph.D at Yale University. While at Yale, Kaplan also worked as a researcher for former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. Prior to his doctoral studies, Professor Kaplan was a senior economic analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, writing extensively on developing country economics, global financial market developments, and emerging market crises from 1998 to 2003.


Ph.D., Yale University


His book, entitled Globalization and Austerity Politics in Latin America, was published by Cambridge University Press (in the Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics series) in 2013, and was selected for Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles in the Social and Behavioral Sciences that same year. The dissertation on which this book is based won the Mancur Olson Award from the Political Economy Section of the American Political Science Association (2010) for the best dissertation in the field of political economy completed in the previous two years. The book explores the relationship between global market indebtedness and national economic policymaking, offering important lessons for understanding the ongoing economic crises in the U.S. and Europe, as well as the politics of reform in developing countries. It uses a multi-method research strategy that includes extensive field research and country studies from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Venezuela. This book is targeted toward a broad audience within political science, economics, and Latin American politics, but is especially relevant for scholars of political economy of global finance, development and democracy, and the politics of economic policymaking.

Beyond Latin America's borders, he has also published on the politics of the Chinese exchange rate and central bank independence in Japan. Kaplan’s commentary has also been featured in a range of global outlets, including the Washington Post, NPR’s Marketplace, Fohla de Sao Paulo, Asahi Shimbun; and the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.

Kaplan is currently working on his second book manuscript, The Rise of Patient Capital: The Political Economy of Chinese Finance in Latin America (under contract with Cambridge University Press), which aims to evaluate the political and policymaking implications of growing Chinese economic interdependence in the Western Hemisphere. Professor Kaplan is presently on leave, spending the year conducting field research and writing his book as a fellow at the Wilson Center. He’s also received previous external grants to advance this book project from the Minerva Initiative and the Smith Richardson Foundation.Other current or forthcoming publications:

Banking Unconditionally: The Political Economy of Chinese Finance in Latin America. Review of International Political Economy 23(4): 2016.

Partisan Technocratic Cycles in Latin America. Electoral Studies 45: 2017

The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt: Global Finance and Electoral Cycles. The Journal of Politics 79(2): 2017.

Fighting Past Economic Wars: Crisis and Austerity in Latin America. Latin American Research Review 53(forthcoming): 2018.




Classes Taught

IAFF 2090 Latin America: Problems and Promise

IAFF 3187 Political Economy of Latin America

PSC 2439 International Political Economy

PSC 8453 Advanced Theories of International Political Economy