Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 01/2014

Who Sets the Intellectual Agenda? Foreign Funding and Social Science in Peru

Richard Snyder, Kelly Bay, Cecilia Perla

September 2013

Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University


This article explores the political economy of social science research in the Global South by analyzing new bibliometric and survey data on Peru, a lower-middle income country with weak domestic funding and institutional support for scholarship. The results of the analysis show that although research in Peru is heavily dependent on foreign funding, the multiplicity of funding institutions gives scholars a surprising degree of autonomy. Still, dependence on foreign funding produces conditions with potentially harmful consequences for the quality and impact of research. Five conditions are considered: multiple institutional affiliations, hyperproductivity, forced interdisciplinarity, parochialism, and a weak national community of scholars.