Our Faculty

headshot of Leslie C. Gates

Leslie C. Gates

Professor; Undergraduate Director



Leslie Gates is currently a professor of sociology and a faculty affiliate of the Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies Program. She is a historical sociologist who studies politics in Latin America.

The shock of the Sandinista defeat in Nicaragua’s 1990 presidential election hooked her. Ever since, she has been intrigued by the forces that stymie movements for greater self-determination in the region. She has sought to understand the decline of Mexico’s once powerful labor movement in the neoliberal era, the deployment of gendered labor reforms by El Salvador’s military regimes, the surprising return of the left in Venezuela and, more recently, the rise of right-wing outsiders.

Two Fulbright awards have funded her research in Mexico and Venezuela. She has served as the chair of the Section on Political Economy of the World System of the ASA. While her approach to research is historical, she uses both quantitative and qualitative techniques to analyze empirical evidence. She welcomes the opportunity to work with graduate students with similar interests, regardless of regional focus.



  • PhD, MA, University of Arizona
  • BA, Princeton University

Research Interests

  • Politics in Latin America
  • Historical sociology
  • State-business relations

Research Profile

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae