I pursued my undergraduate studies in sociology at the University of Buenos Aires during the military dictatorship that ruled the country until 1983. After teaching social theory at the University of Buenos Aires for some years, I decided to pursue graduate studies in the U.S., where I obtained a Ph.D. in Sociology at the Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research. At the time, the Graduate Faculty was actively involved with the democratic opposition in Eastern Europe and their contribution to the formation of a proto-civil society that could play a leading role towards political transformation. It was during those years when I became interested in the contribution of civil society to processes of democratization. My doctoral research focused on the problematic relationship that Argentine civil society has historically had with legal and constitutional institutions. It also dealt with processes of political learning that, as a result of the dramatic experience of state terrorism, lead to a revalorization of a constitutional form of democracy. After returning to Argentina, I continued my research on civil society by analyzing new forms of civic engagement that aimed at increasing governmental transparency and accountability. The Woodrow Wilson project follows up on this line of work, focusing on the potential, prospects, and dangers of such a politics of social accountability. At different phases of the research project, I received fellowships from Fulbright, the Tinker Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. In recent years, I have been a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University, Oxford University, the University of New Mexico, the University of London, and Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.


Licenciatura in Sociology, Universidad de Buenos Aires; Ph.D. in Sociology, The Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research


Argentina,Latin America


  • Associate Professor, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, 1997- present
  • Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Columbia University, 2002
  • Visiting Lecturer, University of London, ILAS, 1998
  • Visiting Scholar, Cornell University, LASP, 1995-96


Democracy and democratization in Latin America; democratic accountability; civil society; citizenship; Argentine politics

Project Summary

In recent years, the political scenario of many Latin American countries has been occupied by a multiple array of social movements and by networks of NGOs that demand more transparent and accountable government as well as by the break of media exposés of governmental corruption. The notion of societal accountability represents a first attempt at conceptualizing this significant phenomenon. The concept places under a common analytical framework a diverse group of actors (social movements, civic associations, NGOs, media organizations, etc.) and of strategies (juridical, mobilizational, and mediatic) that constitute an alternative mechanism for monitoring and controlling governmental actions. The project has four goals: to explain the rise of a politics of societal accountability in Latin America, to elucidate its workings and strategies, to assess its strengths and weaknesses, and to evaluate its contribution to democratic accountability.

Major Publications

  • Enforcing the Rule of Law. Civil Society and Democratic Accountability in Latin America, co-editor (Pittsburgh University Press, forthcoming)
  • "The Nature of the New Argentine Democracy: The Delegative Democracy Argument Revisited," Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 33, part 1, February 2001
  • "Modernization and Juridification in Latin America: A Reassessment of the Latin American Developmental Path," Thesis Eleven #58 (1999)
  • "Towards a New Politics: Citizenship and Rights in Contemporary Argentina," Citizenship Studies, vol. 6, no. 1, 2002