Photo of Kristina Mani
  • Associate Professor of Politics
  • Chair of Latin American Studies
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Education

  • BS, Georgetown University, 1991
  • MA, Columbia University, 1996
  • PhD, Columbia University, 2004

Biography

Associate Professor of Politics Kristina Mani’s research focuses on the relationships between domestic political change and regional security in Latin America.

Questions that interest me especially include how the processes of democratization and democratic consolidation impact elite political learning and historical memory of conflict and cooperation.

My book, Democratization and Military Transformation in Argentina and Chile: Rethinking Rivalry (Lynne Rienner 2011), explored these dynamics in terms of changes to military thinking and behavior that reshaped security relations in the Southern Cone. That project relied on dozens of individual interviews and documentary sources, and established my interest in interpreting the power shifts and narrative reframing that result from challenges to historically influential elites like the armed forces.

Currently my research centers on how Latin American militaries have been influential actors in their national economies, in a variety of different ways that often have deep historical and strategic roots, as well as important implications for military autonomy and professionalism. That work studies several countries from across the region, including cases from Central and South America.

My scholarly articles have been published in journals including Armed Forces and Society, Bulletin of Latin American Research, and Latin American Politics and Society.

While I am not a policy analyst, I feel strongly that my work as a social scientist should provide insights for policy makers, both official and non-governmental. I have consulted and produced papers for think tanks and nonprofit organizations including Transparency International, Providing for Peacekeeping, RESDAL, and the Christian Michelsen Institute.

At Oberlin, I teach courses in international relations and Latin American politics. Along with core courses in those areas, I teach topical courses on transnational justice and transnational actors. I have also chaired Oberlin’s programs in Latin American Studies and International Studies.

Recent Publications

  • “Toward a Citizen Soldier Paradigm? Assessing Three Decades of Civil-Military Relations in Argentina,” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 9:1 (2017), 83-111.
  • “The Armed Forces and the Economy in Latin America:  Contemporary Trends and Implications for Civil-Military Relations,” CMI Working Paper 2016:08.  Christian Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway, November 2016.
  • “Political Learning through a Transgovernmental Network:  Resolving the Argentine-Chilean Border Dispute during the 1990s,” in American Crossings: Border Politics in the Western Hemisphere, edited by Maiah Jaskoski, Arturo C. Sotomayor, and Harold A. Trinkunas. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015.
  • “Diverse Markets for Force in Latin America: from Argentina to Guatemala,” in The Markets for Force:  Privatization and Security Across World Regions, edited by Molly Dunigan and Ulrich Petersohn. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.

Notes

  • Kristina Mani Interviewed for BloombergView

    November 29, 2017

    Associate Professor of Politics Kristina Mani was interviewed for BloombergView about the 2017 elections in Chile.