CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Moira Mackinnon

CIPR Post-Doctoral Fellow

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Moira MacKinnon is a 2010-2012 post-doctoral research fellow. She completed her PhD in sociology at the University of California, San Diego in 2009. Her dissertation is a comparative study of the passage of legislation on labor rights through the Chilean and Argentine Congresses in the first decades of the twentieth century. She also holds a Masters degree in Social Research from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has published Los Años Formativos del Partido Peronista (1946-1950), Buenos Aires: Instituto Di Tella- Siglo Veintiuno de Argentina Editores (2002), some articles on this topic and an edited volume, Populismo y Neopopulismo en América Latina.  El Problema de la Cenicienta, with Mario A. Petrone eds., EUDEBA (Editorial Universitaria de Buenos Aires), (1998, Reprinted 1999). Moira MacKinnon is a political and historical sociologist whose area of special interest is political institutions in Latin America, in particular Congress and political parties in the South Cone. She is working on a book manuscript based on her dissertation topic. Since leaving Tulane, Moira MacKinnon has accepted a faculty position in the Department of Social Science of the Universidad Tres de Febrero, Argentina, since February 2013.

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Geography is not Destiny and History need not Repeat: Don Leondard

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The first talk of the Tulane University Political Science Seminar takes place on Friday, October 3rd in Norman Mayer 125A. The speaker will be Don Leonard (CIPR Post-Doctoral Fellow) who will present a paper entitled "Geography is not Destiny and History need not Repeat: Trade Politics and State Development in Latin America."

Why are some societies more prosperous than others? Geographic endowments have been found to shape the development trajectories of nations directly, as well as indirectly through their effect on the quality of the political institutions that emerge during colonization. In these latter accounts, stability in the underlying distribution of income within a society accounts for the persistence of 'good' or 'bad' institutions by determining who has the power to shape the economic purpose of the state. In contrast, comparative historical analysis of state development on the island of Hispaniola identifies conditions under which exogenous changes in exposure to international trade can alter the development trajectories of societies by reshaping the distribution of income and power within them, as well as the preferences of the powerful over institutional purpose. These findings challenge existing theories of state development that emphasize the path-dependent effects of geography and colonial legacy.

For a draft of Dr. Leonard’s paper, please click here.