See below for a list of supporting faculty members within the Politics Department.

Ronald Ahnen  |  Interests  |  Scholarship  |  Service  


  • Human Rights and Democracy
    My research focuses on democratization processes in general, and specifically on the challenge of defending human rights under the rule of law in recently (re)democratized regimes. My major regional focus is Latin America and I have conducted research in Nicaragua, Colombia and Brazil. I have published three articles on the politics of human rights, police violence and public security policy in Brazil. 


  • Micro-Credit Policy and Outcomes

    During 2008-2009 academic year, I spent my sabbatical year in the state of Parana, Brazil studying and comparing different development projects with respect to financing.  While international development organizations have touted the Grameen model as the new best solution to poverty and social injustice, some research suggests that microfinance projects are not always feasible nor as successful as their adherents claim.  The purpose of my research is to determine the limits of the microfinance approach and the extent to which that model is feasible in specfiic contexts.

  • Prison Politics

    I teach courses on the Human Rights and the Politics of Imprisonment, taking students to state prisons (San Quentin, Solano), county jails and a juvenile justice center. I serve as president of California Prison Focus, an Oakland based human rights organization dedicated to ending the current California prison system and replacing it with something truly rehabilitative that does not warehouse people or torture them with indefinite long-term solitary confinement. Since the summer of 2011, I have been serving the prisoners' Mediation Team to find a resolution to the Pelican Bay led hunger strike about the overuse of solitary confinement in California.

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Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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