I am a Principal Researcher (Assistant Professor) at the Chilean Institute for Local Government Studies (ICHEM), Universidad Autónoma de Chile and an Adjunct Professor at the Political Science Institute, Universidad Católica de Chile. I hold a doctorate from the Sociology Department and St Antony's College, University of Oxford. 

My research lays in the intersection between social movements, citizenship, urban marginality, local governance, democracy, and Latin American studies. 

I also teach about sociological theory, politics, and social movements.

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

 

BARRERAS PARA LA ORGANIZACIÓN POPULAR EN EL CHILE DEMOCRÁTICO

Estudio Corto ICHEM, 2019 (with Camila Galaz)

Un conjunto de iniciativas ha contribuido al empoderamiento de los sectores populares en la última década. Sin embargo, entre las organizaciones populares e incluso en la academia, existe el consenso de que, en términos más generales, los sectores populares chilenos se despolitizaron después de la transición democrática. Este Estudio Corto del Instituto Chileno de Estudios Municipales de la Universidad Autónoma de Chile, ICHEM, propone un esquema general de las barreras descritas por la literatura académica para la politización y empoderamiento de los sectores populares urbanos en Chile. Nuestra idea es que este estudio sea una herramienta para que más organizaciones populares contribuyan a profundizar la democracia local a través de acción colectiva, autonomía, y demandas de responsabilidad política a autoridades (rendición de cuentas).

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MOBILISATIONAL CITIZENSHIP: SUSTAINABLE COLLECTIVE ACTION IN UNDERPRIVILEGED URBAN CHILE

Citizenship Studies, 2018

While academics have addressed the interaction between mobilisation and citizenship in a myriad of ways, none of them have used citizenship to explain the sustainability of collective action. Drawing on an ethnographic fieldwork in Santiago de Chile’s underprivileged neighbourhoods, this paper provides an analytical framework explaining how neighbourhood activists sustain mobilisation on the basis of citizenship construction despite Chile’s transitional and post-transitional stark political exclusion. This article calls this concept ‘mobilisational citizenship’. Building on the notion of rights-claiming, mobilisational citizenship explains how durable mobilisation results from the dynamic interaction between four factors: agentic memory, mobilising belonging, mobilising boundaries and decentralised protagonism. Through mobilisational citizenship, local residents politicise their neighbourhood, build autonomous local empowerment and self-define their political incorporation.

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POLICY METAPHORS AND DEEP LOCAL DEMOCRACY: THE CASE OF THE CHILEAN NEIGHBOURHOOD RECOVERY PROGRAMME

RIEM, 2017

The  Neighbourhood  Recovery Programme is the first government urban regeneration  programme implemented in Chilean  underprivileged urban areas using deliberative processes. Through interviews with key policymakers and the revision of government documents, this article explores the cognitive metaphors by which this programme frames its local construction of sociability. In so doing, this research examines the programme’s potential to build  a deep conception of local democracy. The article contributes to debates discussing the effect of the Chilean state in enhancing or curtailing civil society empowerment in politically excluded areas. It argues that this programme’s metaphors serve efficient policy implementation.  However, they also reproduce top-down dynamics of institutional imposition that undermine accountability and have already been described by ethnographers in underprivileged neighbourhoods.

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POLITICISATION AND SOCIAL MOBILISATION IN TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY CHILE

Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance, 2017

This chapter looks at current Chilean politicization and social mobilization. Questioning the traditional divide between authorities and social movements, a set of publications devoted to this issue in Latin America has explained grassroots collective action as a co-construction between movements and political institutions. Political phenomena in Latin America hardly function in isolation, these scholars argue. Instead, they suggest that political processes interconnect to produce outcomes that may or may not be democratic. Tarlau (2013) has studied, for example, how the Landless Workers Movement (MST) in Brazil co-produces activism with political parties in rural schools through clientelism. By showing how Chilean social movements have increasingly detached from political institutions, this chapter will outline the Chilean case as a regional exception. In fact, often, disengagement from institutional politics among Chilean social movements has proven more effective in effecting policy change.

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Dr. Simón Escoffier

Instituto Chileno de Estudios Municipales

1973 Galvarino Gallardo

Providencia, Santiago, Chile

sescoffier@ichem.cl / sescoffier@uc.cl

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