Horace A. Bartilow

pascal's picture
  • Professor
  • Political Science
1641 Patterson Office Tower
(859) 257-7031
Research Interests:

Ph.D., The University at Albany, State University of New York


Horace was born and raised on the tropical island of Jamaica. During his early adolescence, Horace experienced the cultural and political influences of "Rastafari" as expressed through the music of Bob Marley,  Peter Tosh, Bearning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Steel Pulse and others. Rastafari shaped his ideas of social justice, the protection of human rights, the political, economic and cultural liberation of all people, especially as these aspirations expressed themselves in the anti-colonial and anti-apartheid movements on the African continent. Indeed, his approach to the study of international politics is rooted in these normative values.

During this period, Horace also experienced the effects of the World Bank's and IMF's structural adjustment lending and its consequences on the lives of people in the Caribbean - particularly in Jamaica. Furthermore, he lived through the American invasion of neighboring Grenada to dislodge then Marxist government of Maurice Bishop. For the first time, this act demonstrated to both Horace and his fellow Jamaicans how American support for political opponents to the ruling Government (in this case, of Michael Manley) can utilize violence to kill and intimidate supporters of the government and government ministers of Parliament -  ultimately swinging the general election in their favor. However, these experiences were filtered through the lense of his "Rastafarian" norms, which did not lead him to develop an "anti-American" stance; instead, they shaped his interest in the disciplined study of international politics and in the dynamics of American Foreign Policy along with its hegemonic aspirations in a world where small countries within its so-called "back yard" have limited geo-political autonomy than they would otherwise like to believe. 

Horace is the only son of a retired elementary school principal and a father who was a chartered accountant. He never intended to leave the comforts of home, nor the Friday and Saturday night reggae parties, to study these issues abroad; but was set to attend the University of the West Indies in the Fall of 1980. However, his love for soccer got the best of him when an American college soccer coach during his visit to Jamaica saw him play in a scrimmage and offered him a scholarship to play at a Community College in upstate New York. 

So he left his beloved Jamaica thinking that he would return after his soccer stint, but ended up becoming a naturalized American citizen, loving to study in the U.S. and  better understand the tension between America's domestic democratic creed and its sometimes undemocratic, imperial ambitions. 

This has been his journey to academia, which brought him to the University of Kentucky in August 1995 after receiving his doctorate degree from the University at Albany, The State University of New York, in 1994. His intellectual curiosity continues to filter the complexities of global politics through the prisms of social justice, the protection of human rights and the promotion of shared economic and political democratic governance.

One Love and Much Respect


Professor of Political Science, received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the  University at Albany - State University of New York. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of International Political Economy (both licit and illicit IPE), International Relations, and American Foreign Policy. Recent articles have appeared in Latin American Research Review, the National Political Science Review, International Studies Quarterly, Foreign Policy Analysis, Latin American Politics and Society and International Politics. He is the author of The Debt Dilemma: IMF Negotiations in Jamaica, Grenada, and Guyana (Warkwick University Caribbean Studies, Macmillan Press, 1997). Area of Specialization - International Political Economy - specifically the politics of the World Bank's and IMF's structural adjustment lending and the impact of global economic integration on democratic governance and human rights; International Relations, American Foreign Policy - specifically the politics and consequences of American drug enforcement in foreign countries, and the Politics of  Global Prohibitive Regimes.

Selected Publications: 


Drug War PathologiesEmbedded Corporatism and U.S. Drug Enforcement in the Americas (University of North Carolina Press 2019).

Corporate Power, U.S. Drug Enforcement and the Repression of Indigenous Peoples in Latin America, Third World Quarterly Vol. 40, No. 2, (2019): 355-372. 

Drug War’s Collateral Damage: U.S. Counter-Narcotic Aid and Human Rights in the Americas, Latin American Research Review. Vol. 49, No. 2, (July, 2014): 24-46.

Shirkers and Drug Runners: The limits of US-bilateral counter-narcotics cooperation in the Caribbean  Basin, National Political Science Review.  Vol. 14, 2012: 57-77. Co-authored with Kihong Eom.

Busting Drugs While Paying With Crime: The collateral damage of US drug enforcement in foreign countries, Foreign Policy Analysis. Vol. 5, No. 2, April 2009: 1-24. Co-authored with Kihong Eom.

Free Traders and Drug Smugglers: The Effects of Trade Openness on States’ Ability to Combat Drug Trafficking Latin American Politics and Society. Vol. 51, No. 2, (Summer 2009): 117-145. Co-authored with Kihong Eom.

Market Rules: The Incidental Relationship between Democratic Compatibility and International Commerce, International Studies Quarterly. Vol. 53, 2009: 103-124. Co-authored with Steve Voss.

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