Democratic Erosion

a cross-university collaboration

Jennifer McCoy

Instructor, Georgia State University


Jennifer McCoy, PhD, is Distinguished University Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University.  She served as Inaugural Director of the Global Studies Institute at GSU (2015-16), and Director of the Carter Center’s Americas Program 1998-2015, leading projects on democratic strengthening, mediation and dialogue, and hemispheric cooperation. A specialist on democratization and polarization, mediation and conflict prevention, election processes and election observation, and Latin American politics, Dr. McCoy has authored or edited six books and dozens of articles.  Her latest book is International Mediation in Venezuela (with Francisco Diez, 2011).  She is teaching the democratic erosion course with an expanded section on political polarization and its consequences for democracy.

Dr. McCoy’s newest research project on Polarized Polities seeks to determine the causes, consequences and solutions to polarized societies around the world, including Venezuela, Turkey, Egypt, Thailand, Hungary, Greece, Bangladesh, and the United States.

She recently completed a collaborative research project funded by USAID and NSF on Legitimacy Deficits in Transitional Justice in the Colombian Peace Process.  Dr. McCoy also participates in an international research team on Causes and Consequences of Populism, comparing Latin America and Europe.  She has received research grants and awards from NSF, USAID Center for Democracy, US Institute of Peace, Rockefeller Foundation, North-South Center, and Fulbright Association.

At The Carter Center, Dr. McCoy created the group of Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter group; directed The Carter Center’s projects on Mediation and Monitoring in Venezuela 2002-2004, Ecuador-Colombia Dialogue Group 2008-2010, and U.S.-Andean Dialogue Group 2010-2011; led over a dozen election monitoring missions and organized former President Carter’s historic trips to Cuba in 2002 and 2011. 

McCoy is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations; member of the International Women’s Forum; and co-chair of the Atlanta chapter of the Scholar’s Strategy Network.