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Dr Fiona Macaulay

PositionSenior Lecturer in Development Studies
LocationPemberton P1.13
DepartmentPeace Studies and International Development
Telephone+44 (0)1274 23 5598

Research Interests (key words only)

Latin America, especially Brazil - political parties (participation, gender, the Brazilian Workers' party; gender policies (domestic violence, political representation), women's movements and the state; human rights policy; reform of criminal justice systems, especially the police, prisons, access to justice and civil society involvement

Study History

Description BA Hons (Modern Languages), M.Phil (Latin American Studies), D.Phil (Politics), all University of Oxford

Professional Activities

  • Latin American Studies Association: Fiona was programme track chair for the 'Citizenship, social justice and rights' stream at the 2006 conference, and for 'Feminist Studies' at the 2007 conference.
  • Brazilian Studies: from 2000-2005 Fiona was Research Fellow at the Centre for Brazilian Studies, University of Oxford where she convened the Human Rights Programme, organising an annual workshop and hosting visiting fellows. She maintains a close link with the Brazilian Studies Programme based in the Latin American Centre, Oxford.

Editorial Positions:

  • Journal of Latin American Studies (University of London), editorial board
  • Sur: International Journal on Human Rights (São Paulo) international board
  • The Latin Americanist (University of Central Florida) international boardRevista Brasileira de Segurança Pública (Brazilian Journal of Public Security) international board


  • Journals: Journal of Latin American Studies, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Latin American Politics and Society, International Political Economy.
  • Publishers: ITDG, University of North Carolina Press, Pluto, Manchester University press. University of Notre Dame

External Examiner:

  • MAs in Development Studies and in Conflict, Governance and Development, School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia
  • External doctoral examiner for School of Oriental and African Studies (London), London School of Economics, Universities of Leeds and Manchester


Research Areas

Fiona has two principal research interests in Brazil and Latin America. These are (1) gender policies and politics (2) criminal justice reform and human rights. In both cases she is interested in the interface between organised civil society and the state, and the way in which specific political institutions and governance arrangements (political parties, decentralisation) impinge on the capacity of civil society groups to affect policy and reform the state.

In the area of gender studies, her research began by examining the restoration of democracy in Chile and Brazil, and the way in which party systems and individual parties in Latin America have responded to, and filtered, women's movement demands for political representation and state gender policies. Her two-country comparative study, Gender Politics in Brazil and Chile, based on several years of in-country fieldwork, is original in focusing on both national and local-level political arenas, in emphasising party systems as well as individual parties; and in analysing the religious-secular cleavage in addition to the left-right axis, the degree and type of institutionalization of individual parties and of the party system, and the individual party's political genesis and habitus as variables determining parties receptivity to gender equality and equity claims. She has also published studies of women's networks and NGOs in Brazil and Latin America in relation to legal literacy, lobbying and advocacy, and domestic violence.

She developed expertise in the area of human rights whilst responsible for the Brazil desk at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International (1997-99). Funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation, she examined the institutional and political dynamics of human rights reform in Brazil, which has resulted in a number of publications on reform processes in the judiciary, police and prison system, as well as more general analyses. She is currently researching the ways in which civil society is able to engage with the criminal justice system, through accountability mechanisms, on the one hand, and co-production of security, on the other. In particular articles on little-known, but ground-breaking civil-society community-run prisons in Brazil, based on research supported by the Socio-Legal Studies Association, are due out in Spanish, Portuguese and English. She is continuing the study of state-NGO partnerships in São Paulo state with comparative research conducted in Minas Gerais state in November-December 2007. To this end she spent a month as Visiting Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, at the invitation of the Institute for Advanced Transdisciplinary Studies (holding the IEAT/Ford Foundation Chair). In September 2007 she gave a paper at the conference of the Latin American Studies Association in Montreal on organized crime gangs and the prison system in São Paulo.



To access some of these texts please see my profile on

Book chapter ‘Whose prisoners are these anyway?’  Church, state and society partnerships and co-production of offender ‘resocialisation’ in Brazil’ in Vivien Miller and James Campbell (ed.) Translating Penal Cultures: New Perspectives on Discipline, Punishment and Desistance Routledge. 2015: 202-216. ISBN 978-0-415-74131-6.

Book chapter ‘The impact of domestic politics on Brazil’s foreign policy on human rights’ in Thijs Van Lindert and Lars Van Troost (eds) Shifting Power and Human Rights Diplomacy: Brazil, Amnesty International, Amsterdam 2014: 77-88.

Journal article: ‘Modes of prison administration, control and governmentality in Latin America: adoption, adaptation and hybridity’ Conflict, Security and Development 13 (4) 2013: 361-92. ISSN 1467-8802.

Journal article: ‘The paradoxes of securitising gender in the Af-Pak region’ Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development Issue 19, 2012: 61-75. ISSN 1742-0601.

Journal article (with Julia Buxton): ‘Practitioners’ Perspectives’ Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development Issue 19, 2012: 75-81. ISSN 1742-0601.

Journal article: ‘Deepening the federative pact? The Dilma government’s approach to crime, justice and policing’ in a special issue on ‘Brazil under President Dilma Rousseff: A preliminary assessment’ Critical Sociology 38 (6) 2012: 823-834.  ISSN 0896-9205.

Book chapter: ‘Cycles of police reform in Latin America’ in David J. Francis (ed) From Bad Cops to Good Cops? Policing in Africa Palgrave/Macmillan, New York, 2012: 165-190 ISBN 9780230339477

Review essay: ‘Brazil: never again?’ in History Workshop Journal Issue 72, 2011: 275-281. ISSN 1363-3554

Book chapter: ‘Federalism and the state criminal justice systems’ in Timothy J. Power and Matthew M. Taylor (eds) Corruption and Democracy in Brazil: The Struggle for Accountability Notre Dame University Press, South Bend, Ind., 2011: 218-249. ISBN 978-0-268-03894-6

Book chapter:Peace Education: a challenge to the traditional methods of teaching and to the reach of disciplines’ in Sérgio Danilo Junho Pena and Heather Jean Blakemore (eds.) Themes in Transdisciplinary Research Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte Brazil, 2010: 165-88. ISBN 978-85-7041-843-2

Book chapter: ‘Human rights in context: Brazil’ in Monica Serrano, Vesselin Popovski and Nicholas Turner (eds) Human Rights Regimes in the Americas United Nations University Press, Tokyo, 2010: 133-155. ISBN 978 92808 1176-6.

Book chapter: ‘Trickling up, down and sideways: gender policy and political opportunity in Brazil’ in Nathalie Lebon and Elizabeth Maier (eds) Women’s Activism in Latin America and the Caribbean: Engendering social justice, democratizing citizenship Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 2010: 273-288. ISBN 978-0-8135-4729-9. The book was listed in Choice, the professional magazine of academic librarians, among its ‘Outstanding Academic Titles 2010’.

  • This is a revised and updated version of ‘Difundiéndose hacia arriba, hacia abajo y hacia los lados: políticas de género y oportunidades políticas en brasil’ in Nathalie Lebon and Elizabeth Maier (eds) De lo privado a lo público: 30 años de  lucha ciudadana de las mujeres en América Latina [From the private to the public: 30 years of women’s struggle for citizenship in Latin America] UNIFEM/Siglo XXI, Mexico City, 2006: 331-45. ISBN 968-23-2617-6.

Encyclopaedia entry: ‘Gender and development in 21st century Latin America’ in Jackie West (ed.) South America, Central America and the Caribbean 2010 Routledge, New York, 2009. ISBN 978-1-85743-525-2

Book chapter: ‘Conflictos privados, poderes públicos: Violencia doméstica en los tribunales de América Latina’ in Alan Angell, Line Schjolden and Rachel Sieder (eds) La Judicialización de la Política en América Latina Editorial Universidad Externado de Colombia, Bogotá, 2008: 251-74. ISBN 958-710-130-8

  • This is an updated version of: ‘Private conflicts, public powers: Domestic violence inside and outside the courts in Latin America’ in Alan Angell, Line Schjolden and Rachel Sieder (eds) The Judicialization of Politics in Latin America Palgrave/ Institute for the Study of the Americas, London, 2005: 211-30. ISBN 1403970866.

Encyclopaedia entry: ‘Women and civil war in Central America’ in Bonnie G. Smith (ed.) Oxford Encyclopaedia of Women in World History Oxford University Press, New York, 2008. ISBN: 9780195148909

Journal article: ‘Justice sector and human rights reform’ in a special issue on ‘Cardoso’s Brazil and Neo-liberalism’ Latin American Perspectives Issue 156, 34 (5) 2007: 26-42. ISSN: 0094-582X

Journal article: ‘Knowledge production, framing and criminal justice reform in Latin America’ Journal of Latin American Studies 39 (3) 2007: 627-51. ISSN 0022216X

Journal article ‘Os Centros de Ressocialização no Estado de São Paulo: Estado e sociedade civil em um novo paradigma de administração prisional e de reintegração de ofensores,’ [The resocialization centres in the States of Sao Paulo: state and civil society in a new paradigm of prison administration and offender reintegration] Revista de Estudos Criminais (26), 2007:  63-86. ISSN 1676-8698 3. 

Book chapter: ‘Política carcerária e prisões’ (‘Prison policy’) in Liana de Paula and Renato Sérgio de Lima (eds) Segurança pública e violência [Public security and violence], Editora Contexto, São Paulo Brazil, 2006: 15-29.  ISBN 85-7244-345-2 

Working Paper: ‘Neo-liberal influence on justice sector and human rights reform under the Cardoso government’ Centre for Brazilian Studies CBS 74- 2006

Monograph: Gender Politics in Brazil and Chile: The Role of Political Parties in Local and National Policy-making Palgrave/St Antony’s, Basingstoke, 2006. 256 pp. ISBN 333736141 

Journal article: ‘Judicializing and (de)criminalizing domestic violence in Latin America’ special issue of Social Policy and Society 5 (1), 2006: 103-14. ISSN1474-7464

Expert paper: ‘Cross-party alliances around gender agendas: critical mass, critical actors, critical structures or critical junctures?’ Prepared for the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Equal participation of women and men in decision-making processes, with particular emphasis on political participation and leadership, 24-27 October 2005. UN document EGM/EPWD/2005/EP.12, available online at the UN Division for the Advancement of Women

Journal article: ‘Democratización y poder judicial: agendas de reforma en competencia [Democratization and the judiciary: competing reform agendas]’ América Latina Hoy [Latin America Today] Special Issue ‘Reformas judiciales: una perspectiva comparada’ [Judicial reform: a comparative perspective’] No. 39, 2005: 141-63. ISSN1130-2887

  • This is a revised and updated version of: ‘Democratisation and the judiciary: Competing reform agendas’ in Maria D’Alva Kinzo and James Dunkerley (eds) Brazil since 1985: Economy, Polity and Society Institute of Latin American Studies, London, 2003: 84-104. ISBN 1 900039 53 2

Journal article: ‘Civil society-state partnerships for the promotion of citizen security in Brazil’ Sur: International Journal on Human Rights No. 2, 2005: 141-66, (in English, Spanish and Portuguese versions). ISSN 1806-6445

Journal article: ‘La política de género en el gobierno del PT’ [Gender politics in the PT government] América Latina Hoy No. 37, 2004: 101-20. ISSN 1130-2887

Working paper: ‘Sexual politics, party politics: The PT government’s policies on gender equity and equality in Brazil’ Centre for Brazilian Studies CBS-46-2003

Book chapter: ‘The purple in the rainbow: gender politics in the PT’ in Gianpaolo Baiocchi (ed.) Radicals in Power: The Workers’ Party (PT) and Experiments with Urban Democracy in Brazil Zed Press, London, 2003: 176-201. ISBN 1 84277 173 6

Book chapter: (with Guy Burton) ‘“PT never again”: Success and failure in the PT’s state governments in Espírito Santo and the Distrito Federal’ in Gianpaolo Baiocchi (ed.) Radicals in Power: The Workers’ Party (PT) and experiments with urban democracy in Brazil Zed Press, London, 2003: 131-154. ISBN 1 84277 173 6

Book chapter: ‘Taking the law into their own hands: Women, legal reform and legal literacy in Latin America’ in Maxine Molyneux and Nikki Craske (eds) Gender and the Politics of Rights and Democracy in Latin America Palgrave, Basingstoke, 2002: 79-101. ISBN 0-333-94948-x 

Working paper: ‘Problems of police oversight in Brazil’ Centre for Brazilian Studies CBS 33-2002. July 2002

Working paper: ‘Political and institutional challenges of reforming the Brazilian prison system’ Centre for Brazilian Studies working paper CBS 31-2002. July 2002 

Book chapter: ‘Getting gender on the policy agenda: A study of a Brazilian feminist lobby group’ in Elizabeth Dore and Maxine Molyneux (eds), The Hidden Histories of Gender and the State in Latin America Duke University Press, Durham N.C. and London 2000: 346-67. ISBN 0-8223-2469-5 

Book chapter: ‘Tackling violence against women in Brazil: Converting international principles into effective local policy’ in Susie Jacobs, Ruth Jacobson and Jennifer Marchbank (eds) States of Conflict: Gender, Violence and Resistance Zed Press, London, 2000:144-62. ISBN 1-85649-6562

Book chapter: ‘Women in Latin America’ in Nicola Phillips and Julia Buxton (eds) Developments in Latin American Political Economy: States, Markets and Actors Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1999: 168-85; ISBN 0-7190-5459-1.

Book chapter: ‘Localities of power: Gender, parties and democracy in Brazil and Chile’ in Haleh Afshar (ed.) Women and Empowerment: Illustrations from the Third World Macmillan, London,1998: 86-109. ISBN 0-3337-1774-3

Journal article:  ‘The politics of human rights reform in Brazil’ Oxford International Review Special issue on Human Rights and Democracy 12 (2) 2000: 27-38

Journal article: ‘“Governing for everyone”: The Workers’ Party administration in São Paulo 1989-1992’ Bulletin of Latin American Research 15 (2), 1996: 211-229. Winner of the Society of Latin American Studies Harold Blakemore essay prize

Co-edited with Chris Taylor Can't Pay, Won't Pay: Debt, Underdevelopment and Resistance Third World First, Oxford, 1990. ISBN 1-870169-26-3



In the News/Media

She has also given presentations at high-level closed-door policy conferences at Chatham House, Wilton Park, and Ditchley Park on violence, security and criminal justice sector reform in Latin America, and Brazil. In 2005 she participated in an Expert Group Meeting on Equal Participation of Women and Men in Political Decision-Making, held at the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa. She has also contributed briefings on Brazil to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Oxford Analytica, Global Facilitation Network on Security Sector Reform and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She has contributed interviews to the BBC World Service in Portuguese, Women's Hour, and other media outlets.

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