Latin American Studies Programme (LASP)

The Latin American Studies Programme (LASP) is an interuniversity graduate programme dedicated to research and graduate education on Latin America in the Netherlands. The common research aim of LASP is to understand and explain the key social, political, cultural and economic transformations in Latin America and the Caribbean in the context of global developments. LASP applies a comprehensive and integrated approach that combines a range of theories and methods from the social sciences and the humanities. The program brings together senior and junior researchers including MA students and PhD candidates.

LASP has three interdisciplinary research lines that form the core of its research programme. They bring together research projects and activities that cross-cut the boundaries between the contributing institutions. Interdisciplinarity and a multilevel approach is a shared orientation, as is a joint affinity with multimethod (qualitative and quantitative) research methodologies. More specifically:

1. Natural resource use and sustainable development. The focus is on the growing importance of natural resources in Latin American development and its social, political, cultural, and environmental implications. It analyses the new political, economic and social processes that drive resource use patterns and reflect conflicting societal interests generated by these patterns.

2. Sociocultural resources and identities. This research line addresses the diverse way in which social transformation reshapes cultural diversity and turns the construction of identities into a key source for mobilization and agency, not only in specific social fields (such as ‘the urban’, religion, transnational migration) but also as part of key domains of intervention such as education. In particular, this line looks at the agency and strategic pursuits of individuals, groups and networks within multilevel local, national, and global reconfigurations.

3. Political resources: governability and (in)security. This research line looks at changes in politics, state-society relations, violence and (in)security, in particular in relation to issues such as democratic consolidation, citizenship, governability, and shifting notions of legality and illegality in the organization of protection and coercion.

Participating institutions and LASP Board

LASP is the platform for collaboration of researchers from seven academic institutions:
· Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA);
· Department of Cultural Anthropology of Utrecht University;
· Programme Group Human Geography, Planning and International Development of the University of Amsterdam;
· Department of Latin American Studies of Leiden University, and
· Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of VU University Amsterdam.

The Board consists of representatives of the participating institutes:
Prof. dr. Michiel Baud (CEDLA)
Prof. dr. W.G. Pansters (UU)
Mw. Prof. dr. R.K. Jaffe (UvA)
Prof. dr. P. Silva (UL)
Mw. Dr. M.E.M. de Theije (VU)

For more information, please contact:
Bente van de Nes (education secretariat)
Annelou Ypeij (academic director)