Political Studies

The Department of Political Studies is an academic space devoted to teaching and research on the political field. The Department offers an approach to the study of politics that combines the disciplinary perspective of Political Science with the interdisciplinary approach of Political Sociology. From this double standpoint, the Department’s academic offering is defined by the diversity of its theoretical and methodological approaches in the study of and research on political matters. Both our disciplinary and our interdisciplinary approaches are reflected in the vast and rich body of research produced in the Department that that allows for new understandings of contemporary political processes, with a special focus on Latin American and Andean countries. The Department offers Master's degrees as well as a Doctoral degrees, so that entering students have the possibility of embarking on coherent and continued academic training.

Areas of Research 

  • Institutions, government and democracy
    This area addresses the study of political institutions, broadly understood as the rules of the game. This includes -but is not limited to- the study of the origins of rules and institutions, and the interaction among political actors within these. We analyze formal and informal institutions, political practices and behavior, and the political processes derived from these, and which in turn, affect them. This field also tackles the impact of institutional frameworks and the behavior they trigger in results defined at a macro political, social and economic level. The area of political institutions thus consists of the analysis of the functions and dynamics of political systems and regimes.
    Responsible: Curvale Carolina, Ph.D. in Political Science, New York University, USA
  • State configurations and dynamics of power
    The focus of this area is the study of the State and its ability to generate dynamics of cooperation, political organization and the structuring of fields of social relations within the territories of its interventions. In this context, this research area introduces students to theories and studies that analyze the State as an actor that accumulates, concentrates and utilizes power. We research the processes of the constitution of states, their transformation though time and the consequences of national and transnational changes that condition states’ abilities to govern and interact with society. This area explores the coercive, symbolic, regulatory, territorial and fiscal sources and dynamics of state power-, as well as its ability to intervene, structure or modify diverse spheres of social and individual life. This area also focuses on the challenges to power, authority and state hegemony posed by local, national and transnational actors in the context of current globalization processes.
    Responsible: Burbano de Lara Felipe, Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Salamanca, Spain
  • Collective action, political conflict and democratic processes
    This area addresses processes of the construction of political actors, with a particular focus on social movements as well as the opposition, contentious interaction and political participation that these actors develop in contemporary capitalist societies. We develop lines of inquiry at the intersection of social movements and their interfaces with state institutions, which allows for the specific study of the dynamics of struggle, conflict and political change in Latin America. This area’s field of study emphasizes the ways in which the structuring of collective actors (mobilization structures, collective identities and political subjectivation) contributes to the configuring and reconfiguring of politics and social structures through resistance against dominant orders, innovation of democratic institutions and the expansion of public spheres that engender spaces for social emancipation.
    Responsible: Ramírez Franklin, Ph.D. in Political Sociology, University of Paris VIII-Saint Denis and Complutense of Madrid
Academic offer


Felipe Burbano de Lara, Dr. en Ciencia Política, Universidad de Salamanca, España

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