Neil Harvey, Professor & Academic Department Head

Ph.D. 1990, University of Essex

Professor & Academic Department Head



Areas of Specialization

  • Comparative Politics
  • Latin American Politics
  • Mexican Politics
  • US-Mexico Border Politics
  • Migration, Borders and Human Rights
  • Social Movements and Identity Politics
  • Indigenous Peoples and Political Change

Research Interests 

My main areas of interest are politics in Mexico and Latin America, particularly the role of social movements in the struggle for democracy and new forms of political representation. I have carried out field research in Chiapas, Mexico, focusing on independent peasant movements, land conflicts and agrarian reform. I have studied the causes of the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas in 1994 as well as its subsequent development, including the formation and practices of autonomous governments run by Indigenous communities. I am currently a principal investigator of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site Program on Immigration Policy and Border Communities (Award #1659515). Together wth my co-PI, Dr. Jeremy Slack (Sociology & Anthropology, University of Texas-El Paso), I direct a three-year program (2018-21) to train undergraduates students in Community-Based Participatory Research methods and mentor student projects on the nature and impacts of immigration policies in the southern New Mexico-El Paso-Ciudad Juárez borderlands region. See our website for more details:


I have written extensively on rural politics and indigenous people’s movements, including a book, The Chiapas Rebellion: the struggle for land and democracy (Duke University Press, 1998). I have also co-authored a text book on Latin American politics, entitled Governing Latin America (with Joe Foweraker and Todd Landman; Polity Press, 2003) and three essays on the history of the National Liberation Forces (FLN) in Mexico from 1969 to 1983 (Casa de Todas y Todos, Mexico).

Courses Taught

Introduction to Political Science, Comparative Politics, Latin American Politics, Resistance Movements in World Politics, Minority Rights and Self-Determination, US-Mexico Border Politics, Mexican Politics, Comparative World Political Ideologies, Contemporary Political Thought, Service Learning: Social Justice on the US-Mexican Border, Qualitative Research Methods, and an Honors course, Citizen and the State: Great Political Issues. 

Chair of MA Government Thesis Students (recent topics)

  • Climate Change and Migration from Guatemala - Angeline Sunday, 2021
  • US Presidents and Relations with Israel, 1948-1975 - Fred Swenson, 2021
  • Use of Social Media in the Me Too Movement - Cristina Amberg, 2020
  • Language Policy and Multiculturalism in New Mexico – Meagan Lashway, 2018
  • Unexpected Impacts of a Guerrilla Movement in Mexico: the Liga 23 de Septiembre and human rights activism – Susan Johnson, 2017
  • Nuclear Energy Policy in Comparative Perspective – Christopher Apodaca, 2017
  • The Discourse of Religious Intellectuals in Iran – Firooz Jafari, 2017
  • The Christian Right and the Queer Community in the United States – Daniel Taylor, 2016
  • Use of Social Media in Broadening Participation in Social Media Activism – Bonny Wells, 2015
  • On Corruption and Its Effect on the Economy: a Comparative Analysis of China, Russia and Indonesia – Uziel Marte, 2015

Dr. Harvey’s CV

Neil Harvey CV Dec 2019 final


Contact Information


Breland Hall, room 349