Academic Offer

Doctoral Programs - Public Policies 2015-2018

The Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) based in Ecuador offers a PhD in Public Policy, with the aim of promoting scientific thinking in the field of public policy, sociology of public action and decision-making procedure. The PhD in Public Policy of FLACSO Ecuador is part of the category of public policy, political science and government studies. In this regard, we emphasize the study of public action over the making of policy, while recognizing the importance of a practical knowledge of public policies in order to understand the action of the State and non-state actors that affect this process.

This academic project is consistent with the objectives of the National Plan for Good Living (2009-2013) of the Ecuadorian government, in particular with the objective 2 ("Improving the capacities and potentialities of citizenship") and objective 10 ("Building a Democratic State for Good Living "). We also aim to strengthen bonds between teaching and research, as part of the objectives of the Strategic Plan of FLACSO Ecuador, in order to provide a new generation of professors and researchers with the theoretical and methodological knowledge necessary to analyze sectoral policies and understanding of societal mutations.

Since the eighties, the prevalence of behavioral approaches to policy analysis and positivist aspirations of a "science of politics" began to be questioned in a systematic way, with the multiplication of cognitive and neo-institutionalist studies. Currently, these three approaches coexist in the international academic community and reflect in the curriculum and orientation options of the doctoral program in Public Policy of FLACSO Ecuador.

The Ph.D. in Public Policies that FLACSO Ecuador offers is not the result of disciplinary specialization, but an interdisciplinary training applied to the construction of an object of analysis (public policy). Our proposal is developed from a collective work in which a language and a common work tools are more important than theoretical convergence of public policies or a thematic specialization (like certain specialized doctoral programs in social policy development, science and technology, etc.).

Applicant´s profile

To be part of the Ph.D. program in Public Policy, applicants need a Master's degree, with a specialization in Public Policy, Urban Studies, Economics, Sociology, Law, Political Science or Social Sciences, and complete all requirements set by the regulations of FLACSO and the regulations established by the Organic Law on Higher Education of Ecuador. They must be full time students for a period 36 months. In addition, they must complete the curriculum requirements and prove its solvency in the fundamental tasks of social science research - autonomy, organization, analysis and writing - including reading of academic texts in English. These qualities will be evaluated during admission process

Graduate profile

Theoretical, methodological and empirical knowledge of the Ph.D. in Public Policy is oriented to students who want a career in teaching and research. After graduation, Ph.D. students will have the ability to develop original research, publish articles and scientific works, and teach at graduate level. Their experience will help them to produce a high quality knowledge about the processes, actors and institutions involved in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of public policies. They may search and manage key resources for research, design, manage and implement scientific research projects, including management of technological, human and financial resources. They will be updated on the theoretical debates on the national and international levels of expertise. They will have ethical skills that will enable them to make decisions based on the dynamics of knowledge production and promotion of academic values.

Admission process

After a selection process according to the rules of FLACSO Ecuador, only 15 applicants are accepted. The admission process involves three stages. First, an evaluation of the applications’ quality, depending on the requirements stablished at the time of the call. Second, applicants have to pass an entrance exam. Third, applicants who have approved the entrance exams have to be interviewed by an evaluation committee.



  • María Belén Albornoz, Ph.D. in Sociology, National University of Quilmes (Argentina)
  • Betty Espinosa, Ph.D. in Applied Economy, Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)
  • Guillaume Fontaine, Ph.D. in Sociology
  • Iván Narváez, Ph.D. in Constitutional Law, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (Ecuador)
  • Ramiro Rojas, Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Plannig, Federal University of Río de Janeiro (Brasil)
  • Gemma Ubasart, Ph.D. in Political Science, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (España)
  • Alison Vásconez, Ph.D in Economics, FLACSO Ecuador
  • William Waters, Ph.D. in Sociology, Universidad of Cornell (USA)

Associate professors

  • Jean de Munck, Ph.D. in Philosophy, Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)
  • José del Tronco, Ph.D. in Politicas Science, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Vincent Lorant, Ph.D. in Public Health, Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)
  • Pedro Medellín Torres, Ph.D. in Political Science, University of París 3 (France)
  • David Post, PhD. en Education, University of Chicago (USA)
  • André-Noël Roth, Ph.D. in Political Sciences, University of Geneve (Switzerland)
  • Hernán Thomás, Ph.D. in Scientific and Technological Policy,Universidad Estatal de Campinas (Brasil)

Ph.D. thesis

The doctoral thesis is a scientific document that includes and evaluates exiting production about a determined topic. It creates theoretical or empirical research about a specific problem and constitutes a significant contribution to the field. Before the presentation of the doctoral dissertation, the student must have published at least two academic articles, related to their dissertation topic, in specialized and indexed scientific journals. . In order to approve the program, the student have to present his doctoral dissertation in front of a jury composed of specialist professors in the area of research. 

Areas of Research

In 2008 the Laboratory of Research on Governance was created. This laboratory is a space for permanent discussion between professors and students. It operates through three specialized working groups in social policy, comparative public policy and urban territoriality. In the working groups, the progress of doctoral thesis is discussed, based on the research developed in the Department.

  • Constitutional State and Rights
  • Urban Governance
  • Policy Networks
  • Policy Tools
  • Socioeconomics of intitutions
  • Plannig, urban economy and territory
  • Urban processes
  • Economics, equality and gender


Application Deadline: August 29, 2014
English and general knowledge exam: September 10, 2014
Interview: from the 1st to the 15th October, 2014
Admission decisions: October 31, 2014
Admission confirmation: November 28, 2014
Registration period: From the 5th January to the 6th March, 2015
First day of classes: March 16, 2015