Orlando J. Pérez, Ph.D.


Orlando J. Pérez is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Central Michigan University. Dr. Pérez was recently named Director, Cultural and Global Studies Programs, School of Public Service and Global Citizenship, College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences. In this position, Dr. Perez will coordinate the launch of a series of certificate programs, and a major and minor focused on cultural and global studies. 

He teaches courses in comparative politics, Latin American politics and U.S.-Latin American relations. Since 2009 he teaches a course on Democracy & Governance for the MPA program at the FHR Lim A Po Institute for Social Studies in Paramaribo, Suriname.



Pérez received his B.A. in political science from Florida International University and a Masters and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pittsburgh. He has carried out field research in Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, and Venezuela. As a consultant, he has worked on public opinion surveys, democratization, civil-military relations, and anti-corruption issues for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UN Development Program. He is a recipient of a grant from the United States Institute of Peace for his project studying the transformation of civil-military relations in post-authoritarian Central America.


He is the author of Political Culture in Panama: Democracy after Invasion (Palgrave-Macmillan 2011). He is co-editor (with Richard Millett and Jennifer Holmes) of Latin American Democracy: Emerging Reality or Endangered Species? (Routledge 2009), and editor of Post-Invasion Panama: The Challenges of Democratization in the New World Order (Lexington Books 2000). Among his other publications are: Surinamese Strategic Culture (with Jack Menke) (24th Findings Report, FIU-ARC 2012); Panamanian Strategic Culture (17th Findings Report, FIU-ARC 2011); “U.S. Security Policy and U.S.-Venezuela Relations,” In Addicted to Failure. US Security Policy in Latin America and the Andean Region, (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006); “La Transformación de las Relaciones Civiles - Militares en Centroamérica,” (with Ricardo Córdova Macías), In Las relaciones civiles militares en el mundo Iberoamericano, (Madrid, España 2005); “La agenda de seguridad en Centroamérica hacia el siglo XXI,” (with Ricardo Córdova Macias), In El Rompecabezas: Conformando la seguridad hemisférica en el siglo XXI, (Buenos Aires, 2006); and “El neomilitarismo latinoamericano y su desafió a la democracia liberal,” In Militares y Civiles: Balance y perspectivas de las relaciones civiles-militares venezolanas en la segunda mitad del siglo XX, (Caracas, 2001). His articles have appeared in the Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Political Science Quarterly, Journal of Political and Military Sociology and Latin American Journal of Public Opinion.

Pérez is a member of the Scientific Support Group for the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) at Vanderbilt University and directs the AmericasBarometer survey in Panama. His current research focuses on civil-military relations in Latin America, crime and security issues in Central America, as well as survey research on democratic political culture.


Perez, Orlando J. Political Culture in Panama: Democracy after Invasion (New York, NY: Palgrave-MacMillan, 2011).

Perez, Orlando J. Latin American Democracy: Emerging Reality or Endangered Species? Routledge, 2008.

For additional information about Dr. Perez's publications, see: http://cmich.academia.edu/OrlandoPerez. 


  • Ph.D. (1996)
    University of Pittsburgh (1989-1996)
    Political Science
  • Master of Arts (1992)
    University of Pittsburgh (1989-1996)
    Political Science
  • Bachelor of Arts (1989)
    Florida International University (1987-1989)
    Political Science
  • Bachelor of Science (1985)
    University of Miami (1983-1985)

Fields of Specialization

  • Comparative Politics
  • Latin American Politics
  • Central America and Panama
  • Elite Political Culture
  • Processes of Democratization
  • Political and Electoral Behavior
  • U.S. - Latin American Relations

CMU is an AA/EO institution, providing equal opportunity to all persons, including minorities, females, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. | CentralLink
Copyright Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Mich. 48859 | Phone 989-774-4000 | Privacy Policy | Feedback | Full Site