Social science capacity-building in Latin America

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Authors

Alberto D. Cimadamore

Abstract

Promoting a way of thinking that is capable of relating social sciences to urgent socialproblems in Latin America requires an appropriate regional institutional environment.This goal has been one of the greatest challenges over the past forty years. One ofCLACSO’s central priorities is to empower centres from relatively less developedcountries and areas by ensuring their social scientists’ participation in the network, which itself contributes to capacity development.

Assumptions

Building capacity in social science can be an extended process. It involves the establishment, expansion and streng- thening of institutional, operational and organizational resources capable of generating relevant knowledge for society at the local, national, regional and international level. This process tends to produce a greater understanding of the main problems that society or groups within it face by developing actions or policies to address them.

Conclusions

hese actions focus on social, economic and political interest issues. They address the major problems facing Latin American societies, such as inequality, poverty, education, culture, democracy, environment, social movements, labour, social conflict, development and regional integration. Specifically, a regional programme of poverty and inequality research studies addresses the most important social, economic, political and ethical problems afflicting Latin American and the Caribbean countries. While it is true that this is a regional programme, it focuses on relatively less-developed countries and offers research funding for these issues by organizing international seminars and postgraduate courses, both face-to-face and by distance teaching, in which the participation of young scholars, social representatives and decision-makers is promoted.

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