Stephen B. Kaplan is an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University. His book, Globalization and Austerity Politics in Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2013), explores how the relations between international creditors and national debtors affect economic policy choices. Globalization and Austerity Politics, which was selected for Choice’s 2013 Outstanding Academic Titles in the Social Sciences, offers important lessons for understanding economic crises in the U.S. and Europe, as well as the politics of reform in developing democracies. Professor Kaplan is currently working on a book manuscript evaluating the political and policymaking implications of China’s economic expansion into the Western Hemisphere. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale University, an M.S. from Georgetown University, and was a Niehaus Globalization and Governance Fellow at Princeton University. Prior to his doctoral studies, Professor Kaplan worked as a senior economic analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


Project Summary

China unquestionably has become a huge economic player in the Western Hemisphere. Its commercial presence alone has allowed Latin American countries to increasingly diversify their trade and investment ties. But, what are the political implications of this growing interdependence? Does China’s thirst for primary materials and energy resources risk renewing Latin America’s economic dependency, making the region vulnerable to a renewed commodity shock? Does China’s emphasis on state-led capitalism signify a challenge to U.S. regional influence and Western governance standards? To answer these questions, I have been working on a book manuscript over the last several years that offers one of the first systematic comparative explorations of how the region’s deepening economic integration with China affects the specific policy choices of individual Latin American nations. It aims to help policymakers in the U.S. and throughout the region craft prudent responses to these economic developments.

Major Publications