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Introducing: Edmund Amann, new Professor of Brazilian Studies

An introduction by Edmund Amann.

I’m Edmund Amann (Ed), the new Professor of Brazilian Studies in the Department of Latin American Studies (LAS) within the Leiden University Institute for History. From September 2016 I will be teaching a range of courses focusing on the emergence of Brazil, the political economy of Latin America, multinational corporations and the BRIC countries.

Prior to my arrival at Leiden I was the first research fellow at the University of Oxford Centre for Brazilian Studies before moving in 2000 to the University of Manchester where I eventually became Reader in Development Economics and Head of the Economics department.

I have also held visiting positions at the University of Illinois and the School of Advanced International Studies -SAIS- at Johns Hopkins University. Beyond academic activities I have engaged in financial journalism and was previously author of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Brazil Country Forecast.

My research and teaching interests centre on the political economy of Latin America (especially Brazil) but I am also interested in broader international political economy issues such as the role of multinational enterprises, international trade and transfer of technology, regional development banking and poverty alleviation through conditional cash transfer programmes. My PhD research focused on the impacts of trade and market liberalisation on Brazilian industry, a theme I have returned to several times over the years.

I’m looking forward to starting teaching at Leiden University and to have the opportunity to help students understand and explore the contemporary development of Brazil and its regional partners. This is certainly an interesting time to be studying these themes given profound political uncertainty in Brazil, the apparent faltering of the “New Left” in Latin America, and doubts surrounding the sustainability of the globalisation agenda across the region. There is, as they say, no shortage of material! As well as delving into these themes myself I look forward to inviting notable speakers from across the academic, business and policy worlds who will be able to share their perspectives. I also look forward to welcoming enquiries from anyone considering starting a PhD focusing on Brazilian or Latin American political economy issues. 

On the research front my hands will be full over the next few months as, together with a São Paulo-based co-editor, I assemble and complete a volume entitled The Oxford Handbook of the Brazilian Economy. This volume, with more than 30 chapters, covers such diverse themes as poverty alleviation and the Bolsa Familía, the role of Brazil in international development cooperation, social policy, the rise of the agro-industrial sector, regional integration and inflation. I will be drawing on some of this very up-to-date material in my teaching and look forward to students’ reactions.

Beyond the activities mentioned I am very keen to build on the considerable work that has been done to develop links between Leiden University and academic institutions across Brazil. Progress here took a huge step forward in March 2016 when a delegation to Brazil, led by the Rector Magnificus, resulted in the signing of several memoranda of understanding with leading universities, research institutes and foundations. I am confident that this will result in tremendous opportunities for future enhanced research collaboration and student exchange.

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