Fellow in Global Thought / The Committee on Global Thought
Lecturer / Department of Political Science
Affiliated Faculty / Institute of Latin American Studies
Columbia University

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Kevin Funk is a political economist and Latin Americanist who specializes in globalization, the politics of Brazil and Chile, and urban studies.

He is the author of Rooted Globalism: Arab-Latin American Elite Consciousness and the Politics of Alternative Imaginaries (2022, Indiana University Press), which analyzes Latin America’s growing economic ties with the Arab world and explores how Brazilian, Chilean, and Argentine business elites of Arab descent navigate between local, transnational, and global identities and spaces.

His current research and book project (under contract with Vanderbilt University Press) analyzes the socio-spatial changes generated by contemporary neoliberal urban mega-projects in Rio de Janeiro (and beyond), situating them vis-à-vis longstanding elite efforts to “modernize” and “globalize” the city. He is also interested in the sociology of academic knowledge production, class and cultural analysis, and qualitative and interpretive methods.

His other writings have appeared in International Studies PerspectivesPS: Political Science & PoliticsJournal of Cultural EconomyNew Political ScienceJournal of Politics in Latin America, and The Latin Americanist, as well as in numerous edited volumes. 

He is also a regular invited speaker on Latin American politics at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute and has written extensively for general audiences. 

In his teaching, he aims to spark conversations that encourage democratic citizenship, enrich students’ knowledge, challenge their assumptions, and push them to cultivate an appreciation of how their lives are shaped by broader social forces. 

He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science and the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese and has conducted extensive international fieldwork.