Amy Erica Smith is an associate professor of political science, as well as a Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Professor at Iowa State University. In the 2019-2020 academic year, she also holds two fellowships: a Luce/ACLS Fellowship in Journalism, Religion, and International Affairs; and a Wilson Center Fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Professor Smith’s research examines how ordinary people understand and engage in politics, and how citizens and politicians interact. She studies democratic and authoritarian regimes globally, but her primary expertise is in Latin America, and particularly Brazil. Read more here on the various strands of her research.
Smith has published two books, most recently Religion and Brazilian Democracy: Mobilizing the People of God (2019, Cambridge University Press), and her articles appear in numerous peer-reviewed outlets, including the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies. She also enjoys writing for public audiences and talking with journalists.
Smith’s work has been funded by Fulbright, the National Science Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Mellon, Luce, and Templeton Foundations; she has been a Visiting Fellow at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies (2016-2017 academic year); and she is a member of the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) family. In September 2016, she received the Award for Early Achievement in Research from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State. She earned her PhD in political science from the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2011.
- What can women (and men) do about gender inequality in academia?
- On the Weakness of the Galactic Empire (for Vox Mischiefs of Faction)
- “Ideologia de gênero” é o que mais mobiliza eleitor evangélico (Interview in Deutsche Welle, 19 October 2018)
- Could the United States Become a Different Kind of Democracy? (interview in The New York Times, July 19, 2018)
- Signs of Democratic Demise in Latin America (on Vox Mischiefs of Faction blog)
- Here’s What Citizens Who Vote for Authoritarians Have in Common (Monkey Cage Blog, Washington Post)
- What explains the troubles facing Evo Morales, Trump, and Lula? Maybe the problem is the presidency.
* In August 2019, my bosses wanted a good photo of me. They called in the amazing McClanahan Studio in Ames, IA, which took the four (non-Darth Vader) photos of me on this website. Check the studio out–they have some of the most creative portraiture I’ve ever seen. (Here’s my favorite.)