Jonathan Fox teaches development studies at the School of International Service at American University. He is currently launching a new Accountability Research Center at SIS. ARC is an action-research incubator that partners with public interest groups and policymakers to imagine relevant new change strategies and research questions, thanks to funding from the Hewlett and Ford Foundations.

Fox came to Washington DC in 2013 from the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He joined the UCSC faculty in 1996, served twice as chair of the LALS Department and became Emeritus Professor in 2014. He has held fellowships in Washington, D.C. with the Council on Foreign Relations (1995-1996) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2004-2005).  He received his PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986, where he studied comparative politics, political economy, development studies and political sociology. He then taught in the MIT Political Science Department (1988-1995).

His research interests include transparency and accountability, democratization, social movements, social and environmental policy, transnational civil society, immigration, race, ethnicity and youth studies. His current research focuses on accountability reforms around the world, including a long-term focus on Mexican rural development policy. He worked with the Open Government Partnership, serving as a founding member of the International Expert Panel of its Independent Reporting Mechanism until 2016. In 2014 and 2015, he presented work on how to interpret evaluation research on the impacts of citizen engagement with the Global Partnership for Social Accountability, collaborated with the Transparency and Accountability Initiative on a report that assesses governance-oriented multi-stakeholder initiatives and co-authored a background paper for the 2016 World Development Report on whether government service delivery agencies respond to ICT-enabled citizen voice initiatives (also published in a special issue of the IDS Bulletin on “Opening Governance”). He has presented recent work at conferences in the Philippines, Colombia, Germany and Nigeria. For a report on a recent workshop with public interest strategies for policy monitoring and accountability, see “Connecting the Dots…”  Recent ‘think pieces’ include “Doing Accountability Differently,” published with U4: Anti-Corruption Resource Centre (also published in Spanish translation) and “Scaling Accountability” – published by Making All Voices Count and the Institute for Development Studies.

His work on Mexican rural development includes collaboration with the public interest website subsidiosalcampo.org.mx, and partnerships with civic groups that monitor social and agricultural policies.

His teaching focuses on policy reform, public interest advocacy and collective action for public accountability, including interdisciplinary courses on action research, social science concepts and methods, accountability, Mexico and transnational civil society. His advising of doctoral students includes PhD dissertations completed at UC Santa Cruz (Politics, Sociology, Education, Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Psychology), and in Mexico (CIESAS, UAZ, UACJ), as well as dissertations in progress at American University, UC Santa Cruz and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.  In 2013, the American Political Science Association’s Committee on the Status of Latinos and Latinas in the Profession awarded him the Adaljiza Sosa-Ridell Mentoring Award for Exemplary Mentoring of Graduate Students in Political Science. In 2016, SIS recognized him as Outstanding Faculty Mentor. He is also an Honorary Associate of the Institute for Development Studies (Brighton, UK).

Jonathan Fox also collaborates with a wide range of public interest groups, private foundations, public sector organizations and social organizations, with a focus on policy analysis, public interest advocacy campaigns, capacity-building, strategic planning, as well as board service – previously with Oxfam America (until 2016) and currently with Fundar (Mexico), the Bank Information Center, the Community Agro-Ecology Network and the advisory board of CCiudadano (Mexico).

Contact Information:


Twitter: @jonathanfox707