The Book

  • Order The Trouble with Unity from an independent bookseller or directly from Oxford University Press!
  • Over the past dozen years, much attention has been given to examining the growing political influence of Latinos in the United States in order to define the so-called "Latino vote." The existence of a coherent, pan-ethnic Latino political agenda is, as The Trouble with Unity shows, not only highly debatable but democratically unviable. Situated at the intersection of political theory and Latino studies, the book is a nuanced critique of civic Latinidad and the Latino electoral and protest politics that work to erase diversity and debate in favor of images of commonality. Cristina Beltrán looks at key moments in U.S. Latino political history through the lens of political, feminist, and cultural thought to provide a theoretically driven account of the many ways in which Latinos lay claim to the public realm. In its innovative approach to the realities of Latino protest politics, The Trouble with Unity advances both social-movement and democratic political theory.

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About Cristina

  • Cristina Beltrán, Ph.D., works at the intersection of Latinx politics and political theory. She is an associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. From 2001 until 2011, she taught in the Political Science Department at Haverford College; in 2013-14, she was a resident member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and in 2019 she was an advanced seminar member at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, N.M.

    Her work has appeared in Political Theory, the Du Bois Review, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Political Research Quarterly, and various edited volumes. She is currently the co-editor of Theory & Event, a peer-reviewed journal that publishes work by scholars working at the intersections of political theory, cultural theory, political economy, aesthetics, philosophy, and the arts. She is also an occasional guest on MSNBC.

    Her forthcoming book, Herrenvolk Democracy: Migrant Suffering and the Revival of White Citizenship, explores the American right’s deep antipathy toward nonwhite migrants from Mexico and Latin America and examines why acts of cruelty against migrants are so gratifying (and even pleasurable) for many in the Republican Party. Other book projects include Uncertain Identities: Aesthetics, Affect, and the Shifting Politics of Race, a two-volume collection of essays that explores a variety of topics including Latino conservatism, sovereignty and desire, the aesthetics of representation, and the multiracial challenge of working ethically at the intersection of race and political theory.

    Cristina and her husband, editor and writer Matthew Budman, live in New York City.