Professor Colin Lewis

Emeritus Professor of Latin American Economic History 

Colin M Lewis holds a PhD in Economic History from the University of Exeter, where he was supervised by Christopher (D C M) Platt. He is an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, and an overseas member of the Argentinian Academy of History and of the editorial boards of Estudios de Sociologiaand Historia Económica + Historia de Empresa. His major periods of field research have been spent in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, and Recife, though he has made brief field trips to Antofagasta, Lima and Santiago de Chile.

In addition, he has taught short courses at the Federal Universities of Pernambuco and Minas Gerais, and at the Economics Faculty of the University of Buenos Aires, and lectured elsewhere in Brazil and the Argentine. He has attended conferences and lectured in Colombia and Mexico, as well as visiting most South American countries. Apart from research interests, during his visits to the continent, he has developed an enthusiasm for nineteenth-century railway architecture, the work of Frida Kahlo, the music of Magaldi, forró, and un buen mate.

  • Room Number: S486
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 7065  
  • CV (PDF)
  • Office Hours by appointment – please e-mail.

Current teaching

  • EH451 Latin American Development: from liberalism to neoliberalism



Principal recent and on-going research interests include fiscal and monetary aspects of state-formation, social policy and welfare, and industrial growth and industrialisation. aspects of business history, particularly the role of British enterprises in the Argentine. Regional specialism: the Argentine and Brazil.

Current research projects

  • Doing Business in Latin America: (with Reinhard Liehr, Free University, Berlin) an examination of the strategies adopted by enterprises confronting the opportunities and risks of operating in Latin America
  • Social Policy, Stability and Exclusion in Latin America: (with Christopher Abel, University College, London) analyses the role and performance of state action in key areas of social policy, stressing the extent to which policy initiative enhances social inclusion, ties of community and effective citizen rights.




argentina_small  |

Argentina: A short history


Oneworld Publications, 2002

exclusionAndEngagement_small  |

Exclusion and Engagement: social policy in Latin America

Editors, Colin Lewis, Christopher AbelInstitute for the Study of the Americas, 2002

  • 'From Developmentalism to Neoliberalism, 1946-2001' in P. Heenan & M. Lamontagne (eds.) The South American Handbook. London. 2002.
  • 'The Political Economy of State Making in the Argentine' in J. Dunkerley (ed.)Studies in the Formation of the Nation State in Latin America. London 2002.
  • 'A indústria na América Latina, 1850-1930' in L. Bethall (ed.) Historia da América Latina, 1870-1930. São Paulo. 2002.
  • 'Industry and Industrialization in Latin America: in pursuit of development'Cuadernos de Historia Latinoamericana VIII (2000).

Working papers, public lectures and work in progress

(comments welcomed)