José Cruz

Studies the relationship between ethnic identity, political mobilization, and political empowerment

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José Cruz

Associate Professor
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy
Department: Political Science

Comparative politics; census data; Latino culture, political values, attitudes and behavior; media studies

Campus phone: (518) 442-5377
Campus email: [email protected]


Cruz holds an appointment with the Political Science Department at Rockefeller College and is affiliated with the Department of Latin American, U.S. Latino, and Caribbean Studies (LACS) at the College of Arts and Sciences. Under LACS, he directs the New York Latino Research and Resources Network (NYLARNet), a research consortium based at the University at Albany conducting and sponsoring research focused on Latinos in New York State, and the Latino Political Barometer (LPB), an annual regional survey of political values, attitudes, and behavior of Latinos. His research is about Latino political participation in the Northeast, focusing on Puerto Ricans in New York and Connecticut.

In particular, Cruz's research explores the role of race and ethnicity in the political process, how minority elites fashion political alliances, and the role of leadership in bridging the gap between political representation and policy responsiveness. His first book, Identity and Power: Puerto Rican Politics and the Challenge of Ethnicity (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998), explored the relationship between ethnic identity, political mobilization, and political empowerment. In 2000, Cruz co-authored Adios Borinquen Querida: The Puerto Rican Diaspora, Its History and Contributions (Albany, N.Y.: CELAC), with Edna Acosta Belen, et al. The book examines the Puerto Rican experience in the United States from multiple disciplinary perspectives including political science, literature, sociology, and media studies.

Cruz is also the editor of Latino Immigration Policy: Context, Issues, Alternatives (Albany, NY: NYLARNet, 2008). This volume compiles the papers presented at the NYLARNet conference on immigration held in November 2006. Additionally, In 2009, the New York State Political Science Association granted the Best Faculty Paper Award to Professor Cruz for his paper “Pluralism and Ethnicity in New York City Politics: The Case of Puerto Ricans.”