Peter Kingstone received his BA in Political Science and Ancient History from Swarthmore College in 1986. After graduating, he worked in Canadian politics as Parliamentary Advisor to the Hon. Jean Charest. He then returned to academia, earning a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley in 1994. His dissertation focused on the puzzling absence of opposition to trade liberalization among Brazil’s powerful and privileged industrialists. After roughly sixty years of considerable protection, industrialists ranged from acceptance (even if grudging) to active support for opening the economy to foreign commerce. This behaviour and the underlying attitudes ran completely counter to the expectations of a considerable literature in both economics and political science. The research led to a re-thinking of the way preferences formed and culminated in his first book, Crafting Coalitions for Reform: Business Preferences, Political Institutions, and Neoliberal Reform in Brazil (Penn State Press, 1999).
Before coming to King’s, Kingstone taught at the University of Vermont, where he won the Kroepsch-Maurice Award for Outstanding Teaching, and then the University of Connecticut, where he won the Bennett Prize for Outstanding Junior Faculty. In addition to his teaching and research, Kingstone served as Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Connecticut, as President of the New England Council of Latin American Studies, and as founding member and first co-President of the Economics and Politics Section of the Latin American Studies Association.
Kingstone’s current research continues to focus on the way actors’ behaviour and political outcomes deviate from expectations. In particular, he is currently working on a study of the way presidents in Latin America overcame institutional constraints on policy-making to pass and implement complex and controversial economic reforms