Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 01/2014

Producing Knowledge in the Global South: The Political Economy of Social Science in Argentina, Colombia, and Peru

Maria Angelica Bautista, Angelica Duran-Martinez, Jazmin Sierra, Richard Snyder

October 2013

Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University


How do international inequalities in funding, institutional support and research capacity affect the production of social science knowledge? New data on the political economy of research in Latin America shows that funding for social science is organized in sharply contrasting ways across countries, with three types of capital -- foreign, domestic public, and domestic private -- playing distinct roles. This cross-national variation in the role played by each type of capital, in turn, has contrasting consequences for (1) who produces knowledge, that is, for the professional credentials and networks needed to gain access to funding for research; and (2) for the kind of knowledge produced, especially for the comparative scope and policy relevance of research. A focus on cross-national variation in how social science is funded provides a stronger understanding of knowledge production in the Global South.