Past Event

The Cultural Work of Experts: Policy Evaluation and the Search for a New Bureaucratic Ethos in Brazil and Mexico

November 5, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
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Knox Hall (Room 501D), Columbia University, 606 West 122nd Street, New York


The Science, Knowledge, and Technology workshop (SKAT) gathers social scientists interested in how knowledge is created, distributed, drawn upon, and collectively understood. The workshop brings together diverse theoretical perspective and methodological approaches to social studies of SKAT. These include sociology of expertise, sociology of professions, organizational analysis, actor-network approaches, medical sociology, and science studies, among other approaches. In each meeting, a student or guest speaker presents their work briefly, followed by open discussion.

If you wish to attend or receive the workshop paper, please contact Larry Au ([email protected]).

Luciana de Souza Leao received a B.A. in Economics from Puc-Rio and an M.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where they extensively studied different dynamics associated to racial and political inequalities in Brazil, both in historical and comparative terms. For their Ph.D. dissertation, de Souza Leao builds on their experience working as a World Bank researcher for three years, to study the politics of social policy evaluation in the Global South and the complex inequalities inherent to the diffusion of global policy standards. They reveal how seemingly neutral technical disputes over evaluation methods relate to domestic struggles for influence in social-policy making, and how different evaluation methodologies inform what policymakers can see and do.

Diana Graizbord is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and holds a joint appointment with the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute. Diana received her Ph.D in Sociology from Brown University where she was a NSF-IGERT fellow in Development and Inequality in the Global South. She also holds an M.A in International Affairs from The New School’s Milano School for International Affairs, Management & Policy and a B.A from Sarah Lawrence College. Her research and teaching interests include Theory, Political Sociology, Sociology of Knowledge, Science and Technology Studies, and Globalization and Development. Her current research examines the role of technocratic knowledge and expertise in democratic politics in contemporary Mexico.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Sociology at Columbia University.