Sean Burges

Assistant Professor

Degrees:BA (University of Western Ontario), MA (University of Western Ontario), PhD (University of Warwick)
Office:Room 2117
Dunton Tower

My research follows an inductive and interdisciplinary approach to questions of development, international political economy, foreign policy, and comparative politics. While many of my publications fit best in the categories of Brazilian foreign policy and inter-American affairs, my work addresses South-South relations, international development policy, regional integration, democratization, international political economy, and comparative policy formulation. I am particularly interested in how developing country governments and actors attempt to mobilize and deploy the international to achieve domestic development goals. My ongoing work is built around an examination of the business-government relations behind Brazil’s turn to Africa during the presidency of Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva. This in turn is opening angles of research on foreign policy decision-making processes, corruption, and democratic consolidation as well as the reformulation of Southern-based attitudes to and interactions with the global system.

Prior to starting my position with BGInS I was a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the Australian National University, where I was also the convener of undergraduate international relations studies as well as deputy director of the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies. I have previously served in the Government of Canada in both the Canadian International Development Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as well as the Cadieux-Leger Fellowship with the Government of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International TradeOutside of the academy I continue to engage in the consultancy projects that inform my approach to teaching as well as an active program of media engagement and academic outreach to bridge the practice-academic divide.

Selected Publications


  • Brazil in the World: The International Relations of a South American Giant (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017). (Winner of the Latin American Studies Association’s 2018 Luciano Tomassini Latin American International Relations Book Award)
  • Brazilian Foreign Policy After the Cold War (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2009).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters