Matthew E Carnes


Associate Professor

Department of Government

Fr. Matthew Carnes, S.J., is an associate professor in the Department of Government and at the School of Foreign Service. His research examines the dynamics of labor and social welfare policy, with particular interest in the ways societies protect their weakest and most vulnerable members: the old, the young, the ill or injured, and the unemployed.  His principal regional focus is Latin America, and in recent years he has conducted extensive field research in Argentina, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia.

His teaching has been highly decorated. In 2011, he was awarded the Dorothy Brown Award for Outstanding Teaching Achievement, Georgetown University’s highest teaching award, presented by the student body to the faculty member who has had the strongest impact on the students’ university experience. In addition, in 2011, at the Tropaia Ceremony for Georgetown College, he was awarded the Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Award for Faculty Excellence, given by the graduating seniors in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2012, he was featured as one of the country’s best professors in the Princeton Review’s publication, 300 Best Professors. And in 2013, he was chosen by students as the Faculty Member of the Year in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

He is the author of Continuity despite Change: The Politics of Labor Regulation in Latin America (Stanford University Press, 2014), and his research has appeared, or is forthcoming, in the British Journal of Political Science, the Annual Review of Political Science, the Oxford Handbook of Comparative PoliticsLatin American Research Review, Latin American Politics and Society, Politics & Society, Socio-Economic ReviewSocial Science Quarterly and the Journal of European Social Policy.

In recent years, he has been a Visiting Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame (Spring 2009) and a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University (Academic Year 2011-2012).


  • Ph.D. (2008) Stanford University, Political Science
  • M.Div. (2003) Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, Theology
  • M.A. (1997) Fordham University, Philosophy
  • B.A. (1992) Stanford University, International Relations




Matthew Carnes. Continuity Despite Change: The Politics of Labor Market Regulation in Latin America. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014.


Articles in journals

Matthew E. Carnes and Isabela Mares. “Redefining Who’s ‘in’ and Who’s ‘out’: Explaining Preferences for Redistribution in Bolivia.” Forthcoming in Journal of Development Studies (2016).

Matthew Carnes and Isabela Mares. “Explaining the “Return of the State” in Middle-Income Countries: Employment Vulnerability, Income, and Preferences for Social Protection in Latin America.” Politics & Society 43.4 (2015): 525-550.

Cristina Andronescu and Matthew Carnes. “Value Coalitions in Policy Change: The Impact of Gendered Patterns of Work, Religion and Partisanship on Childcare Policy across German States.” Journal of European Social Policy 25.2 (2015): 159-174.

Matthew Carnes and Isabela Mares. “Coalitional Realignment and the Adoption of Non-Contributory Social Insurance Programs in Latin America.” Socio-Economic Review 12.4 (2014): 695-722.

Matthew Carnes. “Hooking Workers and Hooking Votes: Enganche, the Extension of the Suffrage, and the Institutional Origins of Labor Market Dualism in Latin America.” Latin American Politics and Society 56.2 (2014): 93-114.

Sarah Williamson and Matthew Carnes. “Partisanship, Christianity, and Women in the Legislature: Determinants of Parental Leave Policy in U.S. States .” Social Science Quarterly 94.4 (2013): 1084-1101.

Matthew Carnes and Isabela Mares. “Measuring the Individual-Level Determinants of Social Insurance Preferences: Survey Evidence from the 2008 Argentine Pension Nationalization.” Latin American Research Review 48.3 (2013): 108-129.

Matthew Carnes. “Institutionalizing Inequality: The Political Origins of Labor Codes in Latin America.” Kellogg Institute Working Paper Series (2009).

Isabela Mares and Matthew Carnes. “Social Policy in Developing Countries.” Annual Review of Political Science 12 (2009): 91-113.

Neil Malhotra and Matthew Carnes. “Political Stability Under Uncertainty: Applying Bounded Rationality to the Study of Governance and Civil Conflict.” British Journal of Political Science 38.1 (2008): 45-64.


Articles in Books

Matthew Carnes and Isabela Mares. “The Welfare State in Global Perspective.” Handbook of Comparative Politics. Ed. Carles Boix and Susan Stokes. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.


Book Reviews

Matthew Carnes. “How the Rich Get Richer: Review of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Piketty.” America (2014).

Matthew Carnes. “Review of Beramendi, Pablo. 2012. The Political Geography of Inequality: Regions and Redistribution (New York: Cambridge).  .” Political Science Quarterly 128.3 (2013): 574-575.