International System

The Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences is an international organization that emerged in 1956 at the UNESCO General Conference. Its original objective was to support Latin American countries’ creation of social science institutions that could provide previously inexistent spaces for research and analyses; these, in turn, would help to propel the development Latin American societies. In 1957, the Agreement of Rio de Janeiro established the creation of FLACSO, originally signed by the governments of Chile and Brazil, but eventually incorporating a total of 18 Latin America and the Caribbean countries.

The organizational operations of FLACSO are governed by its internal legislation as well as by guidelines dictated by its government bodies. Both coordination of FLACSO’s functions of and its legal representation are the responsibility of its General Secretariat, headquartered in Costa Rica since 1979. FLACSO universities and programs in their respective countries are academically and administratively autonomous.

FLACSO hosts several academic activities: teaching, research, dissemination, academic extension and technical cooperation.

The International FLACSO System has 15 Academic Units (seven headquarters, six programs and two projects) in:

Governing Bodies

General Assembly
It is the highest governing body of FLACSO. It is composed of representatives of the Member States of the Agreement on FLACSO. The General Assembly is responsible for determining the general policy of the Institution and the relations of FLACSO as an international legal person. Its regular meetings are held every two years in different countries of the region.

High Council
The High Council is an auxiliary governing body of the General Assembly composed of representatives of the Member States elected by the General Assembly - at least those in which there are Academic Sites - and by distinguished Latin American academics who are Members of the Council with Individual Title. This governing body meets ordinarily once a year in one of the member countries.

Directive Commitee
This governing body is made up of the Secretary General and the Directors of the Academic Offices, a representative of the Programs and a representative of the academic body of the Faculty. The Steering Committee holds three regular meetings a year in different host countries.

General Secretary
The General Secretariat executes the mandates and delegations entrusted to it by the General Assembly, the Superior Council and the Steering Committee. It systematizes the reports, budgets and annual accounts of FLACSO. Coordinates academic activities and scientific cooperation at the regional level. It makes efforts before the universities and social and cultural institutions, in order to establish agreements of an academic nature. It registers and confers, together with the academic units, the postgraduate degrees. The page of the General Secretariat can be visited at

Headquarters Academic Councils
These governing bodies of each unit are composed of the Director of the Academic Unit, the Area Coordinators, as well as a representative of the academic body of the Unit and a representative of the students. The Academic Councils propose and evaluate the academic activities and advise the Director.