Karleen West

Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations
Fraser 107C
ext. 5445

For more information, visit Karleen West on Academia.

Portrait of Karleen West

Research Interests

Professor West specializes in Latin American politics, with an emphasis on comparative institutions, political representation, and the politics of sustainability. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Latin American Public Opinion Project, and has been published in leading journals, including Comparative Political Studies and the Latin American Research Review . Her book Candidate Matters: An Analysis of Campaigns and Elections in Latin America , forthcoming with Oxford University Press, examines how candidate behavior constrains party strategies and the repercussions that behavior has for the representation of marginalized groups in the region.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Iowa, August 2008

  • M.A. in Political Science, University of Iowa, May 2003

  • B.A. in Spanish and Political Science, with Honors summa cum laude , University of Arizona, May 2001


  • Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, SUNY Geneseo, 2018 - present

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, SUNY Geneseo, 2014 - 2018

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, West Virginia University, 2008 - 2014


  • Candidate Matters: An Analysis of Campaigns and Elections in Latin America. Forthcoming December 2019. Oxford University Press.

  • Who Speaks for Nature? Indigenous Movements, Public Opinion, and the Petro-State in Ecuador. With Todd Eisenstadt. Forthcoming February 2019. Oxford University Press.

  • “Coordination and Presidential Coattails: Do Legislative Parties Benefit from Presidential Coalitions?” (with Jae-Jae Spoon). 2017. Party Politics 23(5): 578-588.

  • “Indigenous Belief Systems, Science, and Resource Extraction: Climate Change Attitudes in Ecuador” (with Todd Eisenstadt). 2017. Global Environmental Politics 17(1): 40 - 58.

  • “Public Opinion, Vulnerability, and Living with Extraction on Ecuador's Oil Frontier: Where the Debate between Development and Environmentalism Gets Personal” (with Todd Eisenstadt). 2017. Comparative Politics 49(2): 231 - 251.

  • "Decentralization, the Inclusion of Ethnic Citizens, and Support for Democracy in Latin America?" 2015. Latin American Research Review 50(3): 46 - 70.

  • "Bottoms Up: How Subnational Elections Predict Parties? Decisions to Run in Presidential Elections in Europe and Latin America" (with Jae-Jae Spoon). 2015. Research & Politics Accessible here:

  • "Alone or Together? How Institutions Affect Party Entry in Presidential Elections in Europe and South America?" (with Jae-Jae Spoon). 2015. Party Politics 21(3): 393-403. DOI:10.1177/1354068812473870.

  • "Veto Players Revisited: Internal and External Factors Influencing Policy Production?" (with Hoon Lee). 2014. Legislative Studies Quarterly 39(2): 227-260.

  • "Credibility vs. Competition: The Impact of Party Size on Decisions to Enter Presidential Elections in South America and Europe?" (with Jae-Jae Spoon). 2013. Comparative Political Studies 46(4): 513-539.

  • "Programmatic or Personalistic? Pachakutik Strategies in Ecuador's 2006 Elections." 2011. The Latin Americanist 55(1): 49 ? 68.


  • HONR 204: F/HSFineArt:PolArtSustainablty

    This seminar offers an introduction to a topic or set of topics drawn from the fine arts, as designated by the subtitle. Typical subtitles are: Jazz and the American Experience; Picasso:Form and Vision; and Theater as Protest. As a core course, it will engage all students and will not assume any prior knowledge of the discipline(s) involved. As a seminar, the class will focus on a lively discussion and analysis of the issues. May be repeated more than once only with permission from director of the Honors Program. Prerequisites: HONR 202 or permission of program director. Offered once per year

  • PLSC 221: Democratization

    Democracy as both a political ideal and institutionalized system is relatively new in historical terms: the eighteenth century counted only three such polities (The US, the French Republic, and the Swiss Cantons). This number has increased steadily over time, even leading some to predict a trend toward near-total democratization globally. In what is termed the third wave of democratization, over 80 countries around the world have moved from authoritarian to democratic systems, albeit sometimes slowly and in partial measure, just since the mid-1970s. However, there is no single clear path toward democratization, and the methods for - or even possibility of - assisting countries toward democratic goals remains a topic of acute political controversy. Offered every fall

  • PLSC 390: Sr Sem Pol Sci:Global Envr Pol

    This course will focus on a special topic within the discipline of Political Science of the instructor's choosing. Students will produce a research paper, and participate in weekly discussions on readings assigned by the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Prerequisites: PLSC 110, PLSC 120, PLSC 140, PLSC 230, PLSC 251, and senior standing.