On 5th June, Campion Hall at the University of Oxford hosted a lecture by Joseph H. Pierre, a scholar from Haiti who researches Latin American Politics at Nottingham Trent University. Mr. Pierre has previously taught Economics and Politics at universities in the Dominican Republic, where he was also a researcher in Fiscal Policy for the Ministry of Finance. He has been a Fellow of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Open Government in the Americas, and is a consultant on Haiti and Haitian-Dominican relations for several international organizations.
The lecture was titled “Democratic Consolidation in Haiti within the Latin American context.” In it, Mr Pierre assessed the level of democratic consolidation in Haiti in the context of the third wave of Latin American democratization, which began in the late 1970s.
After analysing Haiti’s democracy in terms of its political institutions, economic development and political history, Mr Pierre concluded that Haiti has not yet completed its democratic transition. Among other reasons for this, he argued that the country’s elite have thwarted the democratization process.
Mr Pierre also spoke about how he combines his scholarship with activism. In 2011, he founded a youth organization, NAPSA, which aims to strengthen the country’s social fabric. Its activities range from reforestation efforts to academic debates on issues related to Haiti’s development. The organization’s name is an acronym for the phrase, “We are saving Haiti”, in Haitian Creole.