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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Marcus Kurtz

Mershon affiliate Marcus Kurtz has been named director of the Undergraduate International Studies Program, effective January 1, 2019.

Kurtz is professor of political science with research and teaching interests in comparative politics, democratization, political economy and development, with a focus on Latin America.

Kurtz is the author of two books: Free Market Democracy and the Chilean and Mexican Countryside (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and Latin American State Building in Comparative Perspective: Social Foundations of Institutional Order (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

He has also published several peer-reviewed journal articles, including “Oil and Democracy: Endogenous Natural Resources and the Political ‘Resource Curse,'” “Capturing State Strength: Experimental and Econometric Approaches” and “Paths of Policy Diffusion: When and How Diffusion Shapes Financial Globalization in Latin America.”

“I am honored to have been selected to lead the Undergraduate International Studies Program,” Kurtz said. “I am excited to continue the improvements that have made the UISP one the gems of Ohio State’s undergraduate offerings.”

Kurtz has received distinguished recognition for his teaching services. Among other honors, he was named Joan M. Huber Faculty Fellow in 2015, was awarded Best Paper in Political Sociology by the American Sociological Association in 2010 and received the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2007.

Kurtz received both his M.A. and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California-Berkeley. His tenure at Ohio State began in 2000, when he became assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. He was promoted to associate professor in 2006 and to professor in 2013.

At the Mershon Center, Kurtz has received research grants for projects on Public Sector Capacity and Political Stability in Latin America (2006-07), State Building in Latin America (2012-13), and Property Rights, Political Conflict, and Economic Development (2014-15).

Kurtz will replace another Mershon faculty affiliate, Anthony Mughan, professor of political science, who has directed the Undergraduate International Studies Program since 1994.