Ben Ross Schneider

FACULTY  |  Ben Ross Schneider

Ben Ross Schneider is Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the MIT Brazil program. Prior to joining the department in 2008, Schneider taught at Princeton University and Northwestern University.

Professor Schneider's teaching and research interests fall within the general fields of comparative politics, political economy, and Latin American politics. His books include Politics within the State: Elite Bureaucrats and Industrial Policy in Authoritarian Brazil (1991), Business and the State in Developing Countries (1997), Reinventing Leviathan: The Politics of Administrative Reform in Developing Countries (2003), Business Politics and the State in 20th Century Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2004), and Hierarchical Capitalism in Latin America:  Business, Labor, and the Challenges of Equitable Development (Cambridge University Press, 2013). He also has published on topics such as economic reform, democratization, technocracy, education policy, the developmental state, business groups, industrial policy, and comparative bureaucracy.


Schneider's current research examines the distinct institutional foundations of capitalist development in Latin America with particular attention to diversified business groups, foreign investment, human capital, labor markets, and commodity-led growth.  Other ongoing research examines new forms of state capitalism, industrial policy, and state-owned enterprises.

Schneider's research has been supported by the Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council, the Searle Foundation, the Kellogg Institute, the Heinz Foundation, the Tinker Foundation, and the Inter-American Foundation. Schneider also has a strong interest in contemporary policy debates and has consulted for the Ford Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the Global Development Network, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Research (UNRISD), and the governments of Brazil and the United States. He has also been active in promoting a new research network, Red de Economía Política de América Latina, Repal.

Recent Publications

New Order and Progress:  Democracy and Development in BrazilEdited volume.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2016.

The Middle Income Trap:  More Politics than Economics.”  With Richard Doner.  Forthcoming 2016 in World Politics. (pdf)

“Markets and Hierarchies in Social Services: Incentives, Institutions, and Politics.” In Guillermo Perry and Ramona Angelescu, eds., Varieties of Governance. Forthcoming, Palgrave (with Armando Castelar Pinheiro).

Designing Industrial Policy in Latin America: Business-Government Relations and the New Developmentalism. Palgrave, 2015

Hierarchical Capitalism in Latin America: Business, Labor, and the Challenges of Equitable Development. Cambridge University Press, 2013.

“Negotiating Education Reform:  Teacher Evaluations and Incentives in Chile (1990-2010.”  (with Alejandra Mizala). Governance, forthcoming 2013. (pdf)


17.178 Institutions and Development (Syllabus)
17.588 Field Seminar in Comparative Politics (Syllabus)
17.951 New Research on Latin American Politics (Syllabus)