LALS New Faculty Member - Fernando Leiva

July 01, 2014

Fernando Leiva received a B.A. in Economics at American University and an M.A. and PhD in Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Born in Chile, Fernando’s areas of specialization are political economy, social movements, and how global flows redefine society’s material and symbolic dimensions.

His essays on Latin American development, on the role of the state, and labor movement have appeared in journals such as Latin American Politics and Society, Latin American Perspectives, and New Political Economy, among others.

He is the author of Latin American Neostructuralism: The Contradictions of Post-Neoliberal Development (2007),  Democracy and Poverty in Chile: The Limits of Electoral Democracy (1994) (with James Petras), and of a co-edited volume Democracy in Chile: The Legacy of September 11, 1973 (2005) which won the MACLAS’ Arthur P. Whitaker Best Book Prize. 

While examining the politics of participation, ethnodevelopment, Sumak Kawsay, and other emerging ‘post-neoliberal’ approaches, he has moved beyond economics and traditional political economy, to understand the “socio-emotional turn” which increasingly anchors the current strategy of both governments and transnational conglomerates operating in the region in their quest to shape the production of subjectivity in Latin America’s highly unequal societies. 

Currently Fernando is working on two projects.  The first is revising the book manuscript Governability, Social Movements and Hegemony: Nueva Mayoria and the Renewal of Chile’s Neoliberal Order.  The second project aims to take advantage of the environment offered by UCSC to launch a long-term comparative research initiative titled “Flexible Accumulation and the Production of Social Cohesion in the Americas: Applying a Critical Cultural Political Economy Approach.” On the basis of three paired sites, -- Chile and Ecuador in South America, Costa Rica and Nicaragua in Central America, and California’s Silicon and Salinas Valleys in North America— this initiative aims to elucidate whether more self-reflexive articulations of economy, politics and culture successfully manage conflicts and transform hierarchies in contemporary societies.