Scholar of the Week
Jana Morgan, associate professor of political science, analyzes the causes of the democratic crisis in Venezuela and seven other nations in her recent book, Bankrupt Representation and Party System Collapse (Penn State University Press). In recent decades, Bolivia, Colombia, Italy, and Venezuela have all faced the turmoil and democratic crisis of party system collapse. The book addresses a serious gap in the study of party systems at a time when they are changing rapidly, especially in Latin America. It offers the most comprehensive study of the collapse of the Venezuelan party system, but perhaps more importantly it adds an impressive comparative analysis of seven additional cases.
The sophisticated study taps a rich vein of data and combines a number of levels of analysis. Reviewers are unanimous in their assessment that the book makes several significant contributions to the literature on party systems as well as Latin America and the eight nations that are analyzed. The book was awarded the prestigious Van Cott Outstanding Book award given by the Latin American Studies Association.
In the past two years Morgan has had an article published by unquestionably the top journal in the field, American Political Science Review, and two published in Journal of Politics, which ranks just below APSR. She has brought a great deal of visibility to the University of Tennessee in the last few years through these articles and an award-winning book. Her research primarily concentrates on Latin America, focusing on inequality. She is nationally recognized as a top scholar in the field. Her recent book and an article that is forthcoming in International Journal of Political Science insure that she is rapidly becoming one of the preeminent scholars in her field internationally as well.