Luis Roniger

Reynolds Professor

Office: Kirby 303
Phone: 758-4401

Dr. Luis Roniger is Reynolds Professor of Latin American Studies at Wake Forest University. A comparative political sociologist, Roniger’s work focuses on the interface between politics, society and public culture. He has taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has been visiting professor at Carleton University, the University of Chicago and universities in Spain, Mexico and Argentina. He is on the international editorial board of several academic journals published in Mexico, Spain, the UK, Israel, Colombia and Argentina. Roniger has published numerous scholarly articles and books, among them Patrons, Clients and Friends (Cambridge University Press, 1984, with SN Eisenstadt); Democracy, Clientelism and Civil Society (with Ayşe Güneş-Ayata1992);The Legacy of Human Rights Violations in the Southern Cone (with Mario Sznajder, also in Portuguese and Spanish 2004 and 2005); Globality and Multiple Modernities (Sussex Academic Press, 2002, with Carlos Waisman); The Politics of Exile in Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2009, with Mario Sznajder). His most recent work is Transnational Politics in Central America (University Press of Florida, 2011). The book Exile and the Politics of Exclusion in the Americas, co-edited with James N. Green and Pablo Yankelevich,will be published by Sussex Academic Press in 2012.


Licenciado           1974, Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires
MA                     1979, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
PhD                    1985, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Academic  Appointments

Reynolds Professor of Latin American Studies, Wake Forest University, 2004
Taught at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of Chicago, Carleton University in Ottawa, Catholic University of El Salvador and National Universities of La Plata and Cordoba in Argentina, and University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Selected Publications

“Latin American Modernities: Global, Transnational, Multiple, Open-Ended”. Protosociology. An International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research(Frankfurt, Germany), vol. 26, November 2009.

The Politics of Exile in Latin America, co-authored with Mario Sznajder. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009,xvi + 368 pp. Chapter 5.

“U.S. Hemispheric Hegemony and the Descent into Genocidal Practices in Latin America”, in Marcia Esparza, Daniel Feierstein and Henry Huttenbach eds. State Violence and Genocide in Latin America: The Cold War Years. New York: Routledge, 2009, pp. 23-43.

“Antisemitism. Real or Imagined? Chavez, Iran, Israel and the Jews”, ACTA Paper No. 33, Jerusalem: Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, July 2009.

“Citizenship in Latin America: New Works and Debates”Citizenship Studies,  10, 4 (2006): 489-502.

For a complete list of publications please click here.

Pol 242 Human Rights in Latin America

The course looks at the policy dilemmas that both restored and new democracies face when dealing with past human-rights violations and how they engage in restructuring the domain of human-rights in a changed global environment. In Latin America restored democracies have publicly professed to reject and condemn the uses of state power in various forms against citizens under military rule, thus dissociating themselves from their predecessors. Yet the experiences of repression have become a grim legacy, raising major issues and dilemmas to the forefront of the public agenda.  A multi-disciplinary approach will be followed to understand how these democracies have faced a legacy of human-rights violations and restructured the realm of human rights. An in-depth analysis of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay will be complemented with other cases from the region (primarily Central America, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil), and beyond (e.g. Russia and Eastern Europe, South Africa, and Islamic societies, as time allows) to provide further comparative perspectives on the reconstruction of the realm of human-rights in restored and new democracies.

Pol 290 Senior seminar: The Politics of Exile

This seminar addresses exile as a major mechanism of institutional exclusion that had been used by governments in the region against their own citizens, while often they have provided asylum to aliens fleeing persecution. In Latin America, exile has been a regulatory mechanism for political systems unable to create pluralistic and inclusive models of participation. Exile developed as an elite phenomenon in the 19th century when political participation was restricted, and it became a massive trend in the 20th century as mobilizations and more inclusive participation led to authoritarian rule. Yet, also democracies have used ostracism and translocation as a major mechanism of institutional exclusion, and we should attempt to account for that trend too. In spite of its ubiquity and importance, reflected in numerous testimonies and case studies, until recently the systematic study of exile was neglected or projected to the realm of literary and cultural studies. Its systematic analysis is still before us. In the senior seminar, multi-disciplinary and comparative perspectives are followed to understand this important yet until recently neglected theme.  The seminar integrates theoretical hindsight and empirical findings, analyzing contemporary and recent trends of exile, while reaching back to its origins and phases of development.

LAS 210 Introduction to Latin American Studies

The Introduction to LAS provides an overview of Latin American societies, polities and cultures from pre-Colombian times to contemporary times. It aims to be a multidisciplinary trigger of interest and learning on some of the complexities of our neighbors to the South. Special emphasis is placed on the analysis of social hierarchies and collective identities; the politics of development, gender, religion and socioeconomic issues. These axes are approached time and again, as we move progressively across history and shift focus back and forth from continental to country-by-country perspectives.