Evan D. McCormick is an associate research scholar at INCITE, the Obama Presidency Oral History Project at Columbia University (fall 2019). Prior to this appointment, McCormick was a postdoctoral fellow at the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas at Austin, and was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University (2015-2017). In 2018-19, he will be the Robert P. Smith ’58 international scholar-in-residence at the Roxbury Latin School.
Evan’s research and teaching examines the history of U.S.-Latin American relations during the Cold War, with a focus on the intersection of U.S. development policies, Latin American politics, and human rights. His first book project, Beyond Revolution and Repression: U.S. Foreign Policy and Latin American Democracy, 1980-1989, currently under contract with Cornell University Press, draws on newly declassified materials in the United States and groundbreaking research in archives throughout Central and South America. It tells the story of how the Reagan administration seized on popular elections as a means of countering the threat of leftist revolution in Latin America, advancing democracy as a component of U.S. human rights policy. At the same time, Evan illustrates how the emergence of “democracy promotion” was more than ideological rhetoric, enmeshing U.S. officials with Latin American counterparts through projects that aimed to build national political parties, modernize voter technology, and shrink the state-efforts that would profoundly change how democracy was viewed throughout the hemisphere.
While at SMU, Evan developed the “United States and Latin America” collective memory project, an oral history of inter-American relations during the George W. Bush administration. The project draws on interviews with policymakers, diplomats, and other key figures from both the United States and Latin America to reconstruct the story of how issues like U.S.-Mexican relations, the quest for a Free Trade Area of the Americas, and immigration policy, were shaped by ideologies, partisan politics, and competing global priorities.
Evan was previously a dissertation fellow at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, and an Eisenhower/Roberts Fellow of the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College. Evan received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 2015, also earning an M.A. in international relations from Yale University (2007) and a B.A. in international relations from Boston University (2003). Between 2007 and 2009, he served as a policy analyst at the Department of Homeland Security, where he specialized in U.S.-Latin American security issues.
Evan’s scholarly work has been published in Diplomatic History and the Journal of Cold War Studies, and is forthcoming in two edited volumes. His commentary on U.S. politics and hemispheric relations has been featured in the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica, War on the Rocks, and Clarín (Buenos Aires). He tweets about history, U.S.-Latin American relations, and his sizeable vinyl collection at @evandmccormick.
Between Revolution and Repression: U.S. Foreign Policy and Latin American Democracy, 1980-1989