Wilson Center Experts

Roberto Briceño-León

Fellow
Latin American Program

Expertise:
Global Health
;
Environmental Health
;
Urban Studies
;
Latin America
Affiliation:
Professor at Central University of Venezuela and Director, Social Science Laboratory (LACSO) Caracas, Venezuela
Wilson Center Project(s):
“Citizen Insecurity: Poverty or Institutionality? The Deterioration of Venezuela in the Light of the Improvement in Colombia and Brazil.”
Term:
Sep 06, 2011
-
May 25, 2012

I was born in Valera, Trujillo State, Venezuela, and I was enrolled in basic education in La Salle Schools in Barranquilla, Colombia and in Caracas, Venezuela. I studied sociology at Central University of Venezuela where I obtained a degree in Sociology in 1974.  In 1975 I studied in the University of Grenoble in France and was connected with the “Center of Social Ethnology and Psycho-sociology” of Paris, in research with Paul Henry Chombart de Lauwe.  I obtained my Doctorate at the Central University of Venezuela in 1984. I took a post-doctorate in the Latin American Center of Saint Antony´s College of Oxford University from 1988 to 1989.

I have been a regular professor of the Central University of Venezuela since 1975 where I became a Full Professor in 1996. I have been professor of Urban Sociology of the Schools of Sociology and Architecture and Urbanism, where I was also the Coordinator of the Urban Studies Sector. From 1983 I have been the Director of Laboratorio de Ciencias Sociales, LACSO, from which I carried out my research activities.

I have been an invited professor at Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle, Paris III, France (2009-2010) and Senior Associated Member of Saint Antony´s College of Oxford University (2008), and invited researcher-professor of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the National School of Public Health of Fundacao Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

From 1988 I have been a member of different research committees of the World Health Organization and a member of the Steering Committee of Social and Economic Research Committee, Chagas Disease Committee, Applied Field Research Committee, Social Economic and Behavioural Research  and the Advisory Panel on Parasitic Diseases of the World Health Organization.               

I was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Sociological Association (ISA) during two periods (1994-1998 and 1998-2002). I have been President of the Venezuelan Association of Sociology and Director of the Latin American Association of Sociology (ALAS).  I was World Secretary of the International Forum for Social Sciences and Health (IFSSH).

For six years (1989-1994) I was director of the Latin American Small Grants Programme of the UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme on Tropical Diseases in charge of the formation and granting of research scholarships to young researchers in the social sciences and medicine.

In 1997 I was Vice President and in 1999 President of the Fourth and Fifth Latin American Congresses of Social Sciences and Medicine. In 2001 I was the President of the First Regional Conference of the International Sociological Association (ISA) in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

I was founder and coordinator of the Group on Violence and Society of the Latin American Social Sciences Council (CLACSO) and from 2005 I have been the Coordinator of Venezuela Violence Observatory (OVV) which joins the efforts of seven Venezuelan universities to study and prevent violence.

I have 21 books published or edited in different languages and more than 180 scientific articles.

Education

B.A. Sociology, Central University of Venezuela, 1974; Ph.D., Social Sciences, Central University of Venezuela, 1984

Project Summary

In Latin America a generalized increase of violence was produced during the decade of the 1980s that was explained by the increment of poverty and inequality. Starting in 2000, in Venezuela homicides rose, while in Colombia and Brazil homicides fell without a connection with poverty. The proposed hypothesis is that the explanation of changes must be sought in the unequal institutional legitimacy and law enforcement of those countries rather than in poverty conditions. The study will compare the statistical evidence and political analysis in the 1990-2009 periods and will show their relevance for the policies of citizen security and democracy of the region. 

Major Publications

  • Inseguridad y Violencia En Venezuela.  Caracas, Editorial Alfa. Con Olga Avila y Alberto Camardiel, 2009.
  • Sociologia de la Violencia en America Latina. Quito, Facultad Latino americana de Ciencias Sociales, FLACSO, 2008
  • Violencia, Justicia, y Sociedad en America Latina. Buenos Aires, Editorial Universitaria de Buenos Aires, EUDEBA y Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales, CLACSO, 2002.
  • Applying Health Social Sciences: Best Practice in the Developing World. London, ZED Books. Con Nick Higginbothan y Nancy Johnson, 2001.    
  • Doencas Endemicas: Abordagens Sociais, Culturais e Comportamentais. Rio de Janeiro, Editora FIOCRUZ. Con Rita Barada Barata, 2000. 
  • Pueblo, Epoca y Desarrollo: La Sociologia de America Latina. Con : Heinz R. Sonntag (Editores), Caracas, Nueva Sociedad, 1998.
  • Venezuela: Clases Sociales e Individuos. Fondo Editorial Acta Científica Venezolana. Caracas, 1992.
  • Los Efectos Perversos del Petoleo Renta Petrolera y Cambio Social. Caracas, Fondo Editorial Acta Científica Venezolana/ Consorcio de Ediciones Capriles, 1991.
  • La Casa Enferma: Sociologia de la Enfermedad de Chagas. Fondo Editorial Acta Científica Venezolana/Consorcio de Ediciones Capriles, 1990.    
  • El Futuro de las Ciudades Venezolanas. Cuadernos Lagoven. Serie Siglo XXI, 1986. 

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