Edgardo Lander Associate
A TNI Fellow since 2007, Edgardo is a professor of sociology and a committed ecologist and social justice advocate. He is widely recognised as one of Venezuela’s leading left intellectuals.
Edgardo was critically supportive of Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution in its early years, serving as a consultant to the Venezuelan commission negotiating the Free Trade Area of the Americas, but expressing concern about the oil dependent development path being pursued. This concern grew as swathes of territories were opened up to socially and environmentally destructive transnational mining corporations even as the climate crisis was acknowledged to be ever more urgent. Edgardo was one of the organizers of the 2006 World Social Forum in Caracas. In 2017, Edgardo was a founding member of the Plataforma Ciudadana en Defensa de la Constitución (Citizen Platform in Defense of the Constitution) comprised of former Chavistas, who became highly critical of his successor.
He is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Central University of Venezuela, a professor at the Universidad Indígena de Venezuela and at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito; a permanent member the Global Working Group Beyond Development; and a member of the international jury to assess proposals for the establishment of working groups of the Latin American Social Science Council (CLACSO). Edgardo is the author of numerous books and research articles on the environmental limits to industrialization and economic growth, the left in government in Latin America, post-democratic capitalism and challenges to Eurocentric epistemologies. His recent publications include:
- Crisis civilizatoria. Experiencias de los gobiernos progresistas y debates en la izquierda latinoamericana (Calas, 2020)
- ‘The End of Neoliberal Democracy: Inequality in post-democratic capitalist societies’ in Margaret Abraham (ed), Sociology and Social Justice (Sage, 2019)
- ‘Tensions between development, public policies to confront poverty/inequality and the defense of pluriculturality in South America’ in Raquel Sosa Elizaga (ed), Facing An Unequal World: Challenges for Global Sociology (Sage, 2018)
Areas of expertise:
Venezuelan and Latin America politics; democratic theory; extractivism in Latin America; de-growth and post-development paradigms; decolonial epistemologies.
Edgardo is a go-to person for journalists who want information and a considered perspective on the situation in Venezuela or Latin America more broadly, and has been cited extensively in the international media.