PhD students

Alizadeh Afrouzi, Omid (University of St.Gallen)

Mr. Alizadeh Afrouzi is a PhD student at the University of St. Gallen. His doctoral research deals with the mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Latin America; the case study of Venezuela. His research interests are media and public opinion, media and conflict, social media studies, press text analysis, contemporary political theory, and comparative politics. He holds a Bachelor in Spanish Language Translation and Literature and a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Tehran. He has worked for more than 7 years as a news writer, producer, and reporter for HispanTV and he is currently the beneficiary of the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship (ESKAS).

Barber, James (University of Bern)

Mr Barber completed his MA in Global Studies based at the Humboldt University (Germany), graduating with join honours from FLACSO (Argentina), where he completed one semester as part of the programme. For his BA thesis in Sociology (University of Bristol, UK) he looked at the role of Jamaican roots reggae, dub and 'soundsystem' in the UK in relation to Adornian notions of production and consumption. After working for four years as a Sociology and Humanities teacher at Secondary and 'Sixth Form' level, and two years as a freelance and in-house editor for an economics publisher, Mr Barber commenced his PhD studies at the University of Bern as part of the SNF-funded research project “Hip Hop as a transcultural phenomenon", looking at Jamaican cultural signifiers in US Hip-Hop (New York and Los Angeles, c.1970s – 1990s)”, directed by Prof. Christian Büschges and Prof. Britta Sweers. Mr Barber's case study looks specifically at nationalist discourse in the exchanges between reggae and hip-hop and how these have impacted transcultural readings of the two genres.

Bohnenblust, Laura (University of Bern)

Ms. Bohnenblust is a PhD candidate at the University of Bern. Her PhD project titled, “Arte Flotante. Strategies of Mobility in the Art of Argentina between 1950 and 1970” is funded by a Doc.CH scholarship of the Swiss National Foundation. She is part of the Graduate Program Global Studies at Bern University.

Bühler, Sarah Anja (University of St.Gallen)

Ms. Bühler analyses the inclusion of young adults through international dual vocational training initiatives in Colombia in her PhD dissertation. Since October 2017, she works as a Research Assistant at the Centro Latinoamericano-Suizo at the University of St.Gallen (CLS-HSG). She is also one of the Program Managers at the Leading House for the Latin American Region and is responsible for fostering bilateral research collaborations between Switzerland and Latin America. Ms. Bühler has interned at the Swiss Government in Bern and at the Swiss embassies in both Uruguay and Australia. She has also worked in the private sector in Switzerland as well as Spain, and holds a Bachelor in Translation and Interpretation and a Masters in International Affairs.

Carrasco Luján, Carmen (University of Geneva)

Ms. Carrasco Luján is a PhD student at the Department of Hispanic Studies at the University of Geneva. She works on a project titled “Literatura latinoamericana y ‘literatura mundial’ releídas por Roberto Bolaño”.

Carrillo Morell, Dayron (University of Zurich)

Mr. Carrillo Morell is a PhD. candidate at the University of Zurich, where he completed a Master Degree in Art History and Hispanic Studies, and holds a degree in Art History at the University of Havana.  He is currently assistant and teaching fellow for the Department of Spanish Literature at the Romanisches Seminar, and ordinary member of its Doctoral Program “Methods and Perspectives”. As a former research assistant in the project "Modernity and the Landscape in Latin America", sponsored by the Swiss National Found (SNF), he started his doctoral research “Archi-Landscapes in Landed Architecture. Towards an Environmental Aesthetic of Modern Mexico City", which explores the states of tension in the architectural process of “place-making” in mid-twentieth-century Mexico City. He is co-author of the book Beyond Tradition, Beyond Invention: Cosmic Technologies and Creativity in Contemporary Afro-Cuban Religion (2015), and co-editor of Natura: Environmental Aesthetics after Landscape (2018).

Castro, Mariana (IFF, University of St.Gallen)

Ms. Castro is a third-year PhD candidate financed by the Lemann Chair for Law & Economics at the University of St.Gallen. She has conducted empirical research financed by the ProDoc/SSLAS and has analysed her data. Her thesis is titled “Regulatory Framework for Environmental and Social Risk Management: A Proposal for Brazilian Banks”. She is currently writing the last chapters of the dissertation.

Correa, Olga (Global Studies, University of Geneva)

Mrs. Correa’s research deals with Latin American migrant work in the Swiss market.

Frey, Sara (CDE, University of Bern)

Ms. Frey’s thesis working title is “Analysis of negotiation processes around “vivir bien/ buen vivir” analysing state-based and grassroots development discourses on extractive industry conflicts”. After an armed robbery in her field accommodation, Mrs. Frey has reduced her percentage of work related to her PhD thesis, but has decided to remain affiliated to the ProDoc network, despite no longer being the recipient of an SNF. She continues to work part-time on her thesis, but has simultaneously decided to work within international development cooperation organisations on policy coherence. She has chosen to integrate some of the gained knowledge through working in the field of development cooperation by taking a stronger focus on extractive resource and the linkages between policies on the extractive sectors and development in her thesis. She is working on her first article to be published on the different discourses of Vivir Bien and sustainability. The new element of conflicts on the extraction of non-renewable resource, exemplifies the different approaches to the concept. She expects to finish her PhD in approximately two years.

Garzón de la Roza, Tomás (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)

Mr. Garzón de la Roza is a third-year PhD candidate in International Relations at the Graduate Institute. His thesis is titled “Policy Controversies amid Uncertainty. A Comparative study on First- Mover Advantages in Shale Oil and Gas Regulation” and focuses on the reform of hydrocarbon laws in Latin American countries. He has successfully defended his Preliminary Study in March 2015. He also works as a research assistant for Prof. Annabelle Littoz-Monet for the project “Ethics Experts as a Tool of Technocratic Governance? Explaining the Uses of Ethical Expertise in Global Governance”. He conducted fieldwork between February and September 2016, based on four cases; two from Latin America (Argentina and Brazil) and two from Europe (France and the United Kingdom). The field trips aimed at conducting interviews with policymakers, state officials, company officials and activists. The expected date for his defense is September 2017.

Giraut, Camille (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)

Camille Giraut holds an MA degree in anthropology and sociology from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, her MA thesis focused on the subjectivation of women active in the funk music industry in Rio de Janeiro, and their relation to feminism. She's currently a Ph.D candidate at the Graduate Institute and her dissertation project focuses on the experiences, expectations, and rhetoric of French and Brazilian beneficiaries of affirmative action policies in higher education through ethnography and discourse analysis. She looks at the experiences these two models of affirmative action - characterized on the one side by the salience of race and on the other by the refusal of the language of race - produce for students. In the case of Brazil, she also observes how the recent controversies on racial fraud may influence students' understanding of the policy. 

Guardado, Clara Miriam (University of Zurich)

Ms. Guardado pursued her Bachelors degree in Sociocultural Anthropology in El Salvador. For her BA dissertation, she focused on post-war political actors in the Segundo Montes community, which is a settlement of former guerrillas. She conducted a year of fieldwork among them based on ethnographic experience, testimonies and participant observation. She had the opportunity to understand the way in which civil war impacted the everyday lives of the victims and the way in which they deal with the absence of their loved ones while still continuing to be very politically committed. She studied a Masters degree in Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneve. This time she focused her research in the way in which decisions regarding food sovereignty take place in El Salvador. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the UZH with the research project “Materiality of the Political Violence in El Salvador and Guatemala: Rethinking Memory, Peace, and Justice in the post conflict era”.

Holzer, Virginia (University of Zurich)

Virginia Holzer studied Spanish Linguistics/ Literature and Latin American Studies, and completed a Master of Arts with special qualification in Literature at the University of Bern. Since September 2020, she is a PhD student of Romance Studies at the University of Zurich. She is currently working on her PhD project titled “Narratives of Violence Against Women: Wasted Bodies and (Un)grievable Lives in the Contemporary Literature in Peru and Argentina”. She is currently assistant and teaching fellow for the Department of Hispanic American Literature at the Institute of Romance Studies, University of Zurich.

Kaufmann, Christoph (University of Zurich)

Mr. Kaufmann is based at the political geography unit at the University of Zurich where he also completed his Master’s degree. For his master’s thesis, Mr. Kaufmann conducted a qualitative study on re/victimization dynamics at the palm oil frontier in Northern Colombia. His PhD project explores the interrelatedness of contamination governance in Colombian gold mining with struggles over access to mineralized subsoil, the renegotiation political subjectivities in times of macro-political transition, and international frameworks and treaties on hazardous chemicals.

Krauss, Tobias Paul (University of St.Gallen)

Mr. Krauss is a PhD student at the University of St. Gallen with an academic background in business, language, and cultural studies. Universities previously visited include the Copenhagen Business School (M.Sc.), University of Mannheim (B.A.), University of Sydney, and the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (exchange). His doctoral thesis sets out to research the perceived integration of Latin Americans in the US workplace environment by examining components of the employee-employer relationship. Mr. Krauss first discovered his keen interest in Latin American societies and cultures during his engagement as International Volunteer in Mexico in the years of 2011 and 2012, funded by the German Red Cross and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

Kostenwein David (ETH Zürich)

David Kostenwein is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Science, Technology and Policy (ISTP)  at the ETH Zurich, working within the interdisciplinary Urban Research Incubator (URI) focusing on Urban Transformation towards safer, more inclusive Cities. Prior to that, David worked for the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement Programme at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the West Bank and for the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative at the Inter-​American Development Bank in Bogota and Washington DC. David holds a Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Technology of Vienna and a Master's double degree in International Cooperation in Urban Development from the Technical University of Darmstadt and in Sustainable Emergency Architecture from the Universidad Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona. His current research focuses on the spatial manifestation of inequality in Bogota, Colombia. A special emphasis lies on the reciprocal relation between the growing phenomenon of gated communities and accessibility and insecurity in public spaces.

Madera, Nancy (Universidad Nacional de San Martín)

Ms. Madera is a sociologist (Universidad de Buenos Aires) and a doctoral candidate in Political Science from the School of Government and Politics of the Universidad Nacional de San Martín (Argentina). Her dissertation thesis discusses the role of international human rights norms and its implementation on the paradigm shift regarding legislation on violence against women in Latin America. With publications on women´s substantive representation, institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women, women’s human rights agenda and the feminist movement in Latin America, she is currently a member of an interdisciplinary research group on ‘Gender, (In)equalities and rights in tension’, sponsored by the Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO).

Marazita, John (University of Geneva)

Mr. Marazita has built a research career focusing on climate-induced migration in small island states. At the core of his dissertation at the University of Geneva is disaster displacement, seen through a cultural geography lens and supported by a case study of Antigua and Barbuda. Mr. Marazita also conducts research on climate change, displacement, and the resilience of Afro-descendant populations in the Isla de Providencia, Colombia. These communities have faced multiple climate-related challenges for several decades, and he analyzes how they have adapted to climate effects as well as the barriers and enablers of adaptation by looking at the aftermath of Hurricane Iota that struck and devastated Providence Island in November 2020. Mr. Marazita completed his Master’s at the University of Zurich on the social and spatial impacts of mobility in Kiribati, a Pacific Island nation. Before enrolling in the doctoral program in cultural geography at the University of Geneva, Mr. Marazita conducted fieldwork for the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) following displacement caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Additionally, Mr. Marazita is the Director of the Environmental Mobility Research Unit (EMRU) and is on the Advisory Committee for the Platform on Disaster Displacement.

Mausfeld, Dianne Violeta (University of Bern)

Ms. Mausfeld completed Latin American Studies (B.A./M.A.) at the University of Cologne, Germany. In her M.A. thesis, she explored U.S. Hip Hop as a new social movement, focusing especially on its Caribbean roots. After working 5 years as a TV editor, she started a doctorate at the University of Bern in April of 2018. Her dissertation is part of the SNF-funded research project “Hip Hop as a transcultural phenomenon. Jamaican and Latin American cultural signifiers in US Hip-Hop (New York and Los Angeles, c.1970s – 1990s)”, directed by Prof. Christian Büschges and Prof. Britta Sweers. Ms. Mausfeld’s case study about Los Angeles Hip Hop focuses on Mexican American and Latino artists in the emergence of Chicano Rap during the 1980s and 1990s.

Meléndez Duarte, José (University of Bern)

Mr. Meléndez holds an Interdisciplinary MA degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Bern, his MA thesis focused on the 2008 incorporation of indigenous justice in the legal system of Ecuador. He also holds a law degree from the “Universidad Centroamericana” (UCA), Nicaragua an in 2012 obtained a certificated in “Political Leadership and Political Management” from the Graduate School of Political Management of George Washington University and Universidad Americana (UAM). Now, he is working on his PhD project “La paradoja del género en Ecuador y Bolivia: Repensado la cultura y movimiento Queer latinoamericano desde la cosmovisión indígena”, as a part of the Global Studies Program at the Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities of the University of Bern.

Míguez, Julián (University of Zurich)

Julian Miguez is a PhD candidate at the University of Zurich. He is part of the SNF Sinergia Project «In the Shadow of the Tree: The Diagrammatics of Relatedness as Scientific, Scholarly, and Popular Practice». In his thesis, he examines procedures to determine descent in the Spanish Americas during the colonial era. These procedures originated in Europe in late medieval times and were used to determine the noble descent of people who aspired admissions in collegiate chapters and tournament societies. In the Iberian peninsula these procedures were especially known as tests of «purity of blood» which were required to gain access to universities and many urban offices. With the expansion of the Iberian empires and in close connection, there emerged procedures to assign individuals to racial and mestizo groups in the Americas and probably also to castes that were of different legal status in East Indian colonies. These innovations have received some attention as new systematizations of social exclusion within their particular contexts, but both the exact testing procedures as such and their interrelations across continents and domains remain as yet unexamined.

Montoya, Ashraf (PMA, University of St.Gallen)

Ms. Montoya is pursuing her Ph.D. in Management with a focus in Marketing at the HSG since 2015. Her research interests focus in consumer culture theory, ethnographic insight, and sustainable marketing. Prior to her PhD studies, Ms. Montoya earned her Master’s Degree in Business Digital from the Grenoble École de Management (Grenoble, France). She also holds a Master Degree in Project Management from FGV (São Paulo, Brazil). She has been working in several companies as e-marketing consultant. She has also worked as e-project manager in different French companies operating in the retail sector. The title of her PhD is “Local Institutions, Poverty and Household Welfare in Smallholding Cocoa Farms in the Southeastern Region of Perú”.

Ochoa García, Heliodoro (University of Bern)

Mr. Ochoa García analyzes multi-scale struggles for sustainable water governance and emerging alternatives in the Mexican context. By conducting a transdisciplinary research, he has interacted with different stakeholders in processes related to water conflicts, awareness, deliberation and assessment, joint analysis of policies and hydraulic projects, collective agreements, co-production of knowledge and collective publications where the affected communities, governments, NGOs, social networks, universities, formal and informal institutions are involved from the local to international level. The final submission is foreseen in Spring 2020.

Oehri, Noah (University of Bern)

Noah Oehri works on his PhD thesis on the topic of liberation theology in Peru during the 1960s and 1970s in the context of the SNF project “Von der Mission zur Kooperation: Der Einfluss der Befreiungstheologie auf die Entstehung und Transformation sozialer Bewegungen in Cuczo, Peru (1960er - 1980er Jahre)” directed by Prof. Christian Büschges at the Institute of History at Bern university, which deals with the impact of pastoral work on the social mobilization of rural peasant societies. He presented his project in the SSLAS workshop in autumn of 2016. She is part of the Graduate Program Global Studies at Bern University. In the summer of 2017 he is doing fieldwork in the Andean region of Peru.

Ordóñez Cruz, María (University of Zurich)

María Ordóñez is a visual artist. She has developed her work through a multi-material exploration (audiovisual & new media approaches). She did a Masters in Design in the searching of broadening perspectives, methodologies, and possibilities, bringing together artistic research and critical-participatory design. During the last years, she has been working on the query about the ways of dealing with everyday life, material practices and narratives after –and through– violence, within the frame of enforced disappearance in Colombia. She is currently a PhD candidate at the UZH, and a member of the Visual Culture Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA).

Páez Granados, Octavio (University of Geneva / University of Coimbra)

Mr. Páez Granados is a PhD Assistant in the Spanish and Portuguese Departments of the University of Geneva. He is a collaborating member of the Centro de Estudos Lusófonos (CEL) of the University of Geneva and the Centro de Estudos Clássicos e Humísticos (CECH) of the University of Coimbra. His main line of research centers in the study of masculinities (with special emphasis on dissident masculinities) in Ibero-American baroque literature and in baroque re-readings of the late 20th century and the 21st century. Mr. Páez Granados also has training as a harpsichordist and musicologist. In this sense, his work also focuses on the study of Ibero-American poetic-musical forms of the 16th to 18th centuries as well as aspects of musical rhetoric.

Pérez Peralta, Luis Eduardo (University of Bern)

Mr. Pérez is a PhD candidate at the Institute of History at the University of Bern, working on his project “Los imaginarios en los discursos de la Carretera Interocéanica: posiciones e imposiciones en la retórica estatal y ciudadana del Perú”, analyzing differing interpretations of the economic and social impact of this controversial mega project. He has already done fieldwork in Peru.

Plata, Veronique (History, University of Geneva)

Ms. Plata develops a thesis titled “The emergence of technical cooperation in the ILO: History of a new international practice (1929–1949)” at the History department of the University of Geneva.

Sandoval, Martha (University of Zurich)

Ms. Sandoval is a PhD candidate at the University of Zurich in the Democracy Studies Program. In her research project, she is interested in understanding under what conditions mechanisms of direct democracy have been introduced in the Mexican representative democracy. She holds a bachelor degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Monterrey in Mexico and a Master’s Degree in Political Theory from the London School of Economics. She has collaborated with the Department of Social Sciences in the University of Monterrey since 2009.

Saco Chung, Urpi (Graduate Institute, Geneva)


Ms. Saco Chung is a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology and Sociology and a Teaching Assistant at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Before starting her Ph.D., she worked as a public servant and as a researcher in the field of legal pluralism in Peru. Besides, she was a lecturer in the Universidad San Antonio Abad del Cusco, in Cusco, Peru. Her dissertation project investigates the Latin-American indigenous peoples’ participation within the United Nations Human Rights mechanisms, she focusses on the Peruvian indigenous peoples’ participation. She holds a BA (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú) and an MA (Université de Fribourg, Switzerland), both in Anthropology.

Schapira, Raphael (Graduate Institute, Geneva)

Raphael Schapira is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology and an SNF Doc.Mobility Fellow at KU Leuven. His current research investigates how the martial art Brazilian jiu-jitsu gains meaning as a life-changing activity in Rio de Janeiro. Focusing on a group of Brazilian jiu-jitsu coaches in Rio de Janeiro’s periphery, his research seeks to make intelligible the local understanding of this martial art regarding the embodiment of morality in a highly conflictive urban environment. Combining classical ethnographic methods with embodied sports methods, he uses a multi-modal approach to study embodiment as an object and a method of scientific inquiry. Mr. Schapira was awarded a Master in anthropology from the Free University Berlin in 2011, with a thesis on how street vendors in Mexico City conceptualize urban space. Following his first university degree, he worked as a project manager, facilitating educational project between NGOs from Germany, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Bringing together his passion for research and sports, Raphael Schapira has also realized sport for peace and development projects directed at socially disadvantaged children and teenagers in Rio de Janeiro’s periphery. He has a keen interest in bringing together the (self-)critical and transformative potential of anthropology with local communities’ social engagement.

Souto, Sandra (Management, University of St.Gallen)

Ms. Sandra Souto is a PhD candidate in International Business at the Institute for Business Ethics (IWE) at the University of St.Gallen. The title of her dissertation is “International Business & Human Rights from an Institutional and Ethical Perspective: Insights from Multinational Corporations in Brazil”. She applies grounded theory and normative business ethics in her study. She is currently analyzing the data collected in two field research stages from several large multinational corporations and related stakeholders, located in several states in Brazil. She plans to conduct one more stage of interviews to support potential findings by the end of 2017 and turn in her final manuscript by the end of the first semester of 2018.

Tabares Arroyave, Sabrina (University of Neuchâtel)


Sabrina Tabares is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland). She holds a Master Degree in Political Sciences in the Pontifical Bolivarian University (Colombia) and holds a degree in International Business at the University of Medellin (Colombia). She is currently fellow of the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Students (ESKAS). She works with Professor Christian Suter, Director of the Institute of Sociology at the University of Neuchâtel. She works in the research thesis entitled: “Social innovation capabilities in business and its effect on social sustainability performance: Experiences from an emerging economy”. Her research involves international cooperation efforts between Switzerland and Colombia and it effects in social innovation and sustainable development. Her research interests are social innovation in business, social innovation capabilities, small and medium-sized enterprises, social sustainable performance and international cooperation. Through a qualitative methodology, she aims to provide insights of social innovation in Colombian enterprises through the engagement of Swiss stakeholders.

Tostes Freitas de Oliveira Afonso Ortega, Letícia (University of Bern)


Letícia Ortega has a B.A. in International Relations at the Institutos Superiores de Ensino La Salle RJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has completed her M.A. in Strategic Defence and Security Studies at the Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is the author of the book “Tradição e Ruptura: o Brasil e o Regime Internacional de Não Proliferação Nuclear”, published in Brazil by Appris in 2018. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student at the Historical Institute of the University of Bern, working on her Ph.D. project about Argentina and Brazil joint nuclear foreign policy, which will explain the process of choosing cooperation over a long-lasting rivalry, as a part of the Global Studies Program at the Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities. Letícia also keeps the blog "O Mundo é a Minha Casa" ( as one of her extracurricular activities.

Tsenkulovski, Tihomir (University of St.Gallen)

Mr. Tsenkulovski completed his Master’s degree in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar. During his graduate studies he served as a research assistant at Harvard Law School and as a staff editor of the student-run journal Fletcher Forum of World Affairs. He also managed a research project at the University of Pennsylvania on the role of think tanks for civil society-building in Latin America. Previously, Tihomir was a DAAD fellow in Economics at Humboldt University of Berlin and in International Affairs at the Free University of Berlin.  He also worked on a research project on the Democratization of Latin America during the International Politics Summer School at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. Tihomir’s professional experience includes a traineeship at the United Nations in New York City and management consulting to the International Division of Scholastic and to the World Bank Group. He also gained experience in relationship management at Thomson Reuters. Tihomir’s flair for the performing arts took him to the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City, to Cours Florent in Paris and to a film school in Prague where he obtained training in both acting for theater and in film-making. His research project is concerned with the role of the creative industries, culture, and heritage for sustainable urban development in Latin America and UNESCO’s discourse and policies on nurturing the creative economy by a human-centred approach to development.

Vargas Bento, Letícia (University of St.Gallen)


Ms. Vargas Bento is a PhD student at the University of St.Gallen since 2017. She analyses the journey of Brazilian enterprises towards international impact investment through an institutional organization theory lens. The goal of the research is to understand the path taken by Brazilian social enterprises in search of support and capital from foreign organizations. Ms. Vargas Bento has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Fundação João Pinheiro and a Bachelor’s in International Relations from PUC Minas. In Brazil, she worked as an investor relations manager for the Minas Gerais Investment and Trade Promotion Agency, facilitating business in the region and promoting it as an investment destination.

Villalba Vargas, Elida (University of St.Gallen)


Ms. Villalba Vargas is a PhD candidate in the Organisation Studies and Cultural Theory Program at the University of St.Gallen. She is a recipient of the  scholarship "Becas Carlos Antonio López, BECAL" from the Paraguayan Government. Her research project is titled “The Environmental Sanitation Boards in Paraguay: An Analysis of their Governance, the Social-Cultural and Legal Factors that Impact the Model and Their Implications on the Guarantee of the Human Right to Water”. In 2018, she received a Mobility Grant from the Leading House for the Latin American Region to conduct fieldwork in Paraguay. She has extensive experience as a legal consultant and has worked in Paraguay, Mexico, and Switzerland.

Wüst, Luc (University of St.Gallen)


Mr. Wüst is a PhD Candidate at the Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance (IMP-HSG). He is writing a thesis about public policy analysis in the Brazilian smallholder agriculture sector, analyzing the municipal implementation of  recent legislative changes for public procurement in the National School Food Program - PNAE (Programa Nacional de Alimentação Escolar). Drawing on institutional organization theory, the research focuses on how actor constellations and their different rationalities influence the translation of changing institutional demands into local contexts. For this purpose, four case studies in the State of São Paulo are being conducted. The foreseen date of completion of his PhD thesis is 2020.

Zepharovich, Elena (University of Bern)

Elena Zepharovich is a researcher at the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern. She is currently doing her PhD at the Institute of Geography. Her current research focus is inequality, environmental justice and governance in Latin America. More precisely, Elena investigates the perception of deforestation in the Argentinean Chaco with the innovative method of Q.