Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Eric Selbin

Professor of Political Science


Areas of expertise
Comparative Politics (Comparative Revolutions; Contentious Politics; Latin American and Caribbean Politics; Ideologies); International Politics (Peace and Conflict); Political Sociology.

Eric Selbin is Professor of Political Science and University Scholar. His research interests are in the areas of resistance, rebellion, and revolution, theories of revolution, and socio-political change. Selbin  is the author of Revolution, Resistance, and Rebellion: The Power of Story (2010) [], which has been translated into Arabic, German, Spanish, and Turkish, Modern Latin American Revolutions (1999/1993) and a variety of articles and book chapters primarily on matters revolutionary. He has co-authored with Meghana Nayak, Decentering International Relations (2010) [] and is completing, with John Foran and Jack Goldstone, Understanding Revolutions. Selbin is co-editor of the New Millennium Books in International Studies series and was the founding editor of Southwestern University's Brown Working Papers in the Arts and Sciences. In 2007 he was selected as one of Southwestern University's All-time "Fav Five" Faculty by the SU Alumni Association and received the Exemplary Teaching Award from the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church for 2001-2002.


PhD,University of Minnesota 1991
MA,Louisiana State University 1984
BA,University of Texas at Austin 1980


Professor of Political Science
Southwestern University
August 01, 2003 - present

University Scholar
Southwestern University
July 01, 2006 - present

Visiting Professor
Tallinn University
July 01, 2012 - September 01, 2012
Visiting Professor, Tallinn Postgraduate Summer School in Social and Cultural Studies (2012)

Chair of Political Science
Southwestern University
August 01, 2005 - July 01, 2009

Chair of Latin American Studies
Southwestern University
August 01, 2006 - August 01, 2007

Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies
Umeå University, Sweden
May 01, 2003 - October 01, 2005

Social Science Division Chair
Southwestern University
July 01, 2003 - July 01, 2004

Brown Distinguished Research Professor
Southwestern University
August 01, 1999 - May 01, 2003

Associate Professor of Political Science
Southwestern University
August 01, 1998 - May 01, 2003

Chair of International Studies
Southwestern University
August 01, 1996 - May 01, 1999

Assistant Professor of Political Science
Southwestern University
August 01, 1992 - May 01, 1998

Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science
University of Minnesota
September 01, 1991 - June 01, 1992


Theories of revolution; resistance, rebellion and revolution, primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean; socio-political change.


Revolution, Rebellion, Resistance: The Power of Story (2010).
-Published in German as Gerücht und Revolution: Von der Macht des Weitererzählens (WBG, 2010).
-Published in India (Books for Change, 2011).
-Forthcoming in Arabic (from NTC), Spanish (from Interzona Editora), and Turkish (from Abis Yayinlari).

Decentering International Relations. Co-authored with Meghana Nayak (2010).

Understanding Revolutions: Their Origins, Progress Processes, and Outcomes from the French Revolution to the Post-Cold War World. Co-authored with John Foran and Jack Goldstone (forthcoming)

Modern Latin American Revolutions, rev., 2nd ed. (Boulder: Westview, 1999; 1st ed., 1993)

Selected Articles and Book Chapters:
"Conjugating the Cuban Revolution: It Mattered, It Matters, It Will Matter," Latin American Perspectives, vol. 36, no. 1 (2009), pp. 21-9.

"What Was Revolutionary About the Iranian Revolution? The Power of Possibility," Comparative Studies of South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East, 29(1) (2009): 33-46.

"Stories of Revolution in the Periphery," in John Foran, David Lane, and Andreja Zivkovic, eds., Revolution in the Making of the Modern World: Social Identities, Globalization, and Modernity (London: Routledge, 2008), pp. 130-47.

"Making the World New: Latin American Studies After the Washington Consensus," Latin American Studies Association Forum, vol. 38, no. 4 (2007), pp. 33-35.

"Zapata's White Horse and Che's Beret: Theses on the Future of Revolution," in John Foran, ed., The Future of Revolutions in the Context of Globalization (London: Zed Books, 2003), pp. 83-94.

"Agency and Culture in Revolutions," in Jack Goldstone, ed., Revolutions: Theoretical, Comparative, and Historical Studies, 3rd ed. (Belmont: Wadsworth, 2003), pp. 76-84. This has been translated into Russian and published as "Deyatel'nost' i kul'tura v revolutsiyah," in L.E. Blyakher, B.V. Mezhuyev, A.V. Pavlov (eds) Kontsept "Revolutsiya" v sovremennom politicheskom diskurse (St. Petersburg: Aleteiia, 2008), pp. 184-195).

"Is This the Educational System You Wanted? Feminism and Homeschooling," Co-authored with Helen Cordes, Jesse Cordes Selbin, and Zoe Cordes Selbin, in Robin Teske and Mary Ann Tétreault, eds. Partial Truths and the Politics of Community: Feminist Approaches to Social Movements, Community, and Power, Vol. 2 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2003), pp. 89-103.

"Resistance, Rebellion, and Revolution in Latin America and the Caribbean at the Millennium," Latin American Research Review, vol. 36, no. 1 (2001), pp.171-92.

"Same as It Ever Was: The Future of Revolution at the End of the Century," in Mark Katz, ed. Revolution: International Dimensions (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 2000), pp. 284-97.

"Revolution in the Real World: Bringing Agency Back In," in John Foran, ed., Theorizing Revolutions (London: Routledge, 1997), pp. 123-36.

"Contentious Cartography: A Response to Mapping Contentious Politics," Mobilization, vol. 2, no. 1 (1997), pp. 99-106.

Honors & Awards

University Scholar (2006-    )

Association of Southwestern University Alumni Inaugural Faculty Fav Five (2007)

Cullen Faculty Development Program (2003-6)

Brown Distinguished Research Professor (1999-2003)

Southwestern University Exemplary Teacher, General Board of Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church (2001-2002)

NEH Summer Research Seminar: "New Perspectives in the Comparative Study of Revolutions," ( 1996)

Mundy Faculty Fellowships (1995-96, 1998-99)

Brown Faculty Fellow (1994-95)

Cullen Faculty Development Program (1993-9).

Cullen Research Grant (1994)

Sam Taylor Research Fellowship (1994)

Specific subjects or issues you can knowledgeably discuss:
Revolution, resistance, rebellion, guerilla movements Latin and Caribbean politics "Secret History" Music and politics Stories

I am willing to talk to the media: yes

I am willing to talk to community groups about my area of expertise: yes

Can you do interviews in Spanish? no

Other languages you are fluent in:

Experience with the news media (especially electronic media):

Contact Details:
(512) 863-1604(office)
Office: Mood-Bridwell 239