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Benedicte Bull

Guest Speaker

Professional affiliation

Professor, University of Oslo

Full Biography

Benedicte’s research interests focus on the relationship between politics, economics and development, and how international conditions affect the possibilities of establishing good institutions that facilitate positive societal changes. Her main focus geographically is Latin America, and in recent years she has focused particularly on Venezuela. Benedicte has especially looked at the relationship between politics and business elites through many projects.

She now leads three projects: one that looks at China’s importance for international cooperation, democracy and the environment in Latin America and Africa; another one that researches the role of small businesses for development and reduction of violence in big violent cities in the South; and a third one that looks at economic development in Venezuela, with particular focus on the importance of international sanctions for the relationship between private and public elites.

Benedicte previously led a project on the strategies of Central American economic groups in a globalized economy, and one on the importance of elite change for environmental policy in Latin America. Before that, she researched the importance of global private companies for UN organizations and the policies of multilateral banks.

An important reason for Benedicte’s interest in the relationship between elites and institutions is the importance it has for both social and economic inequality. Through her work with elites and institutions in Latin America, she has also become more interested in the illegal economy, and how organizations that emerge in it, both challenge and cooperate with traditional elites.