Margaret Keck taught comparative politics, Latin American Politics, and environmental politics. She is the author or co-author of numerous articles and four prize-winning books, including Practical Authority: Agency and Institutional Change in Brazilian Water Politics (Oxford 2013), with Rebecca Abers; Greening Brazil: Environmental Activism in State and Society (Duke 2007), with Kathryn Hochstetler; Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Cornell 1998), with Kathryn Sikkink; and The Workers' Party and Democratization in Brazil (Yale 1992). She has been doing research in Brazil since 1982.
Professor Keck's research has always focused on activism and organization, in particular how organizers make creative use of unexpected opportunities. Recent work on Brazilian water politics, carried out together with a diverse network of scholars and practitioners in Brazil and the US, focuses on the micro-politics of institutional innovation. Her new book Practical Authority, co-authored with Rebecca Abers of the University of Brasília, builds on this research to ask how new institutions that are supposed to administer important policy changes acquire the authority on the ground to do so. The book was awarded the 2014 best book prize from the Brazil section of the Latin American Studies Association, the 2014 Yale Ferguson Book Prize from the International Studies Association - NE, the 2014 Giovanni Sartori Book Prize - Honorable Mention from the Qualitative and Multi-Methods Research section of the American Political Science Association, and the 2014 Roberto Reis Book Prize, Honorable Mention, from the Brazilian Political Science Association.
Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Itaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998)(Translations in Spanish, Chinese, Arabic)[Winner of the 1999 Chadwick Alger Award of the International Studies Association, and of 2000 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Contributing to Worl Order] (with Kathryn Sikkink)
The Workers' Party and Democratization in Brazil (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992)(Translations in Portuguese)[Winner of the 1993 Best Book Prize from the New England Council on Latin American Studies]
Recent articles co-authored with Rebecca Neaera Abers:
"Mobilizing the State: The Erratic Partner in Brazil's Participatory Water Policy," Politics and Society 37 (June 2009): 289-314; “Representando a Diversidade: Estado, sociedade e “relações fecundas”
nos conselhos gestores,” Cadernos CRH (Salvador, Bahia), vol. 21, no. 52 (Jan/Abril 2008): 99-112;
“Muddy Waters: The Political Construction of Deliberative Water Basin Governance in Brazil,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 30:3 (September 2006): 601-22.