Dr. Michelle Bonner

Dr. Michelle Bonner
Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor
Political Science

PhD (2004) (Toronto)

Office: DTB A338

April - August 2018 office hours:

By appointment.

Dr. Michelle Bonner is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria. She specializes in Comparative politics and the Global South (Latin America). Her primary research interests concern issues of human rights and democratization. This has included analyses of the place of police violence in democracy through studies of protest policing and punitive populism. She has also examined public discourse on human rights and democracy through studies of the mass media and social movements. Many of her studies take a critical and fresh look at transitional justice and democratic accountability. She welcomes the opportunity to work with graduate students interested in any of these areas of study.

She is the author of two books: Policing Protest in Argentina and Chile (Lynne Rienner, 2014), and Sustaining Human Rights: Women and Argentine Human Rights Organizations (Penn State, 2007). Her book Policing Protest won the Canadian Political Science Association’s 2016 Comparative Politics Book Prize.

She has also written articles published in academic journals including Journal of Latin American Studies, Latin American Research Review, Latin American Politics and Society, Bulletin of Latin American Research, International Journal of Press/Politics, International Journal of Transitional Justice, International Indigenous Policy Journal, and the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

From 2006-10 she was on the board of the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She is also a member of the Latin American Research Group at the University of Victoria.

She is currently working on a new project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) titled: Marketing Police Reform: Media, Human Rights and the Politics of Accountability in Latin America, which examines the media dynamics of punitive populism. She is also working on an edited book titled Police Abuse in Democracy: Challenges for Political Science, that explores how police abuse challenges us to rethink the concept of democracy and provides examples from countries around the world.

  • Latin American politics
  • Human rights
  • Democratization
  • Policing
  • Media
  • Social movements and Protests
  • Transitional Justice
  • Argentine Politics
  • Chilean Politics
  • Comparative politics

Dr. Bonner teaches courses on Latin American politics and human rights.

Teaching 2018-19

Fall 2018:

  • POLI 381: Politics of Mass Media in Latin America

Spring 2019:

Courses taught:

Journal Articles and Chapters

  • 2018. "Media and Punitive Populism in Argentina and Chile" Bulletin of Latin American Research. Early preview: (DOI) - 10.1111/blar.12744
  • 2018. "Holding Police Abuse to Account: The Challenge of Institutional Legitimacy, a Chilean Case Study" In Michelle D. Bonner, Guillermina Seri, Mary Rose Kubal, and Michael Kempa (eds.) Police Abuse in Contemporary Democracies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 2018. "Rethinking Police Abuse in Democracy" In Michelle D. Bonner, Guillermina Seri, Mary Rose Kubal, and Michael Kempa (eds.) Police Abuse in Contemporary Democracies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 2018. "Police Abuse in Contemporary Democracies" In Michelle D. Bonner, Guillermina Seri, Mary Rose Kubal, and Michael Kempa (eds.) Police Abuse in Contemporary Democracies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (with Michael Kempa, Mary Rose Kubal, and Guillermina Seri).
  • 2017. "Policing Economic Growth: Mining, Protest, and State Discourses in Argentina and PeruLatin American Research Review 52:1, 3-17. (with Ariel Taylor)
  • 2016. "The Politics of Development" In Christopher G. Anderson and Rand Dyck (eds.). Studying Politics: An Introduction to Political Science (5th edition). Toronto, ON: Nelson.
  • 2016. "Rethinking Debates on Media and Police Reform in Argentina” Policing and Society 26:8, 925-943.
  • 2014. "Never Again: Transitional Justice and Persistent Police Violence in Argentina" International Journal of Transitional Justice, 8:2, 235-255.
  • 2014. "Violence, Policing and Citizen (In)Security" Latin American Research Review, 49:1, 261-269. (review essay).
  • 2013. "The Politics of Police Image in Chile" Journal of Latin American Studies, 45:4, 669-694.
  • 2011. "The Three R’s of Transitional Justice: Reparation, Responsibility, and Reframing in Canada and Argentina” International Indigenous Policy Journal, Vol.2: Iss3, Article 3. (with Matt James)
  • 2010. "Memory, Human Rights and Democratization?" Journal of Third World Studies, 27:1, 323-326. (review essay)
  • 2009. "Media as Social Accountability: The case of police violence in Argentina". International Journal of Press/Politics, 14:3, 296-312.
  • 2009. "State Discourses, Police Violence and Democratisation in Argentina." Bulletin of Latin American Research. 28:2, 227-245.
  • 2009. "Defining Rights in Democratization: The Argentine Government and Human Rights Organizations, 1983-2003." In William C. Smith (ed.) New Perspectives on Democracy in Latin America: Actors, Institutions and Practices, Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell.
  • 2008. "Applying the Concept of 'Human Security' in Latin America: an Argentine Case Study." Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 33:65, 7-31. 2008.
  • 2008. "Law and Injustice in Latin America" Latin American Politics and Society, 50:1 (Spring), 169-183. (review essay)/
  • 2005. "Defining Rights in Democratization: The Argentine Government and Human Rights Organizations, 1983-2003." Latin American Politics and Society, 47:4 (Winter), 55-76.


  • 2017. Review of While the City Sleeps: A History of Pistoleros, Policemen, and the Crime Beat in Buenos Aires before Perón, by Lila Caimari. Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books
  • 2014. Review of The Politics of Memory in Chile: From Pinochet to Bachelet, by Cath Collins, Katherine Hite, and Alfredo Joignant (ed.). Perspectives on Politics. 12:4, 939-940.
  • 2012. Review of Feminist Agendas and Democracy in Latin America, by Jane S. Jaquette (ed.). Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe. 23:2, 155-157.
  • 2011. Review of Policing Insecurity: Police Reform, Security, and Human Rights in Latin America, by Neils Uildriks (ed.) and Policing Developing Democracies by Mercedes S. Hinton and Tim Newburn (eds.). Latin American Politics and Society 53:4, 201-204.
  • Review of Betrayed: The Assassination of Digna Ochoa, by Linda Diebel. Montreal Gazette. October 1, 2005, (Books) p.4.
  • Review of Searching for Life: The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina, by Rita Arditti. Resources for Feminist Research 31:1/2 (2005), 33-34.
  • Review of Warnings from the Far South: Democracy Versus Dictatorship in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile, by William Davis. Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 17:4 (Special Issue 1996), 175-178.