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Diego Von Vacano

Diego Von Vacano headshot
Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Public Administration and Public Policy
  • Race, Equality and Gender
Contact
  • (979) 845-0294
  • davacano@tamu.edu
  • LASB 375
Professional Links
Personal Website

Research Interests

Theoretical:

  • Political Theory
  • Democratic Theory
  • Comparative/Global Political Theory
  • Hispanic/Latin American Thought
  • Race, Ethnicity, Migration
  • Political Philosophy
  • History of Political Thought

Applied:

  • Ethics of Immigration
  • Ethics and Public Policy/Administration
  • Bolivia politics, energy/lithium
  • Latin American Constitutionalism
  • Soccer/Football and Globalization

Biography

Dr. von Vacano was the recipient of a 2018 “Texas A&M Chancellor and Board of Regents ‘Nationally and Internationally Recognized Faculty” award.

(Princeton, PhD 2003; Harvard MPP 1006; Wesleyan University BA 1993)

He is the Editor of the Oxford University Press book series “Studies in Comparative Political Theory.” He has been a Visiting Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University and Presidential Visiting Fellow. He has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He was also a Member of the School of Social Science of the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, NJ.

He is the author of The Color of Citizenship: Race, Modernity and Latin American/Hispanic Political Thought (Oxford University Press, January 2012) and The Art of Power: Machiavelli, Nietzsche and the Making of Aesthetic Political Theory (Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield, November 2006), as well as of various articles, including a piece on “The Scope of Comparative Political Theory” for the Annual Review of Political Science in 2015.

Oxford University Press also published his book, Reconsidering Race: Social Science Perspectives on Racial Categories in the Age of Genomics in June 2018. The edited volume, which has a Preface from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., provides different views of how the social sciences must engage with the natural sciences in light of recent genomics research that has impacted certain accounts of ‘race.’

He is currently working on a book, to be published by Oxford University Press, entitled American Caudillo: Princely Performative Populism and Democracy in the Americas. The book develops a new framework to understand populism, using Machiavelli and Comparative Political Theory/Latin American Thought, for the Western Hemisphere.

He received his doctorate in Politics from Princeton University and his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University. He also studied in the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University.

He was born and raised in Bolivia, moving to the US as a political refugee in his youth. As an immigrant in New York City, he learned English at PS 102 in Elmhurst, Queens. He is a frequent contributor to NBC NEWS Latino/Telemundo on Latino/a issues and international futbol. He is the Co-Founder and Organizer of the Yale Soccer Conference at Yale School of Management.

Dr. von Vacano’s teaching and research interests are in political theory, political philosophy and the history of political thought. He works mainly in Comparative Political Theory (modern Latin American and European political thought); Latinx thought; and immigration, race & ethnicity. His other academic interests include genomics and race as well as the Energy industries for development. He is currently working on a plan to develop Bolivia’s emerging lithium industry.

His other academic interests include Energy industries for development and political economy. He is currently working as an advisor to President Luis Arce to develop Bolivia’s emerging lithium industry. He advises Arce and his team since January 2020 in other areas as well, including international relations, US-Bolivia issues, and academic/educational affairs.

Prior to joining the faculty at Texas A&M University, Dr. von Vacano served on the faculties of Hunter College CUNY, Vassar College, and Williams College. He was also a Visiting Scholar in Latin American Studies at Columbia University. Professor von Vacano has been the recipient of an NEH faculty grant in Latin American philosophy; the University Center for Human Values Graduate Fellowship at Princeton University; and grants from the Spencer Foundation, Tinker Foundation, and Mellon Foundation as well as from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he studied Public Policy of Political and Economic Development.

von Vacano is interested in the globalization of soccer. He is Founder and Organizer of the Yale Soccer Conference at the Yale School of Management (http://www.soccerconference.org/). He also covers international association football tournaments for various media outlets since 1990. As a photographer and analyst he has covered events such as the UEFA Champions League, Copa America, and Euro 2016 for NBC/Telemundo.

Courses Taught

  • POLS 306 – Immigration and Political Theory
  • POLS 362 – Latin American Political Thought
  • POLS 454 – Contemporary Political Ideas
  • POLS 650 – Normative Political Theory
  • POLS 650 – Graduate Seminar in Immigration and Political Theory
  • POLS 650 – Machiavellian Political Theory
  • POLS 650 – Graduate Seminar in Latin American Political Philosophy
  • POLS 674 – Seminar in Race, Ethnicity and American Politics
  • POLS 689 – Special Topics