FLACSO; towards intellectual craftsmanship


Literally, I do love studying in FLACSO (Latin American School of Social Sciences). I understand that not many people actually know what is FLACSO and why I study here, so I thought this is the time I need to reveal what FLACSO is about. Many people will ask me the same question in the near future, so I thought that it could be a good practice to prepare the answer for those who might ask me the very question. No, I’m not preparing to validate my choice based on others’ question. Simply, I strongly argue that FLACSO should be recognised by more people for its excellency.

Today’s seminar ended before the arranged hour, putting a phrase on the screen saying ‘Hacia la artesanía intelectual (towards intellectual craftsmanship)‘ and released us to go back home. Following weeks, there won’t be this seminar, but in a month we need to gather to present the progress each one has made. There is the point. This institute is not about industrialised education. It’s not about reproducing same products whose mould is already done. It’s the very idea of education; to form an identity and intellectual as it should bloom and as it develops.

The graduate programme represents its character strongly when to mention two consecutive seminars about thesis. Mostly other universities put thesis seminar at the end of the career, which represents that thesis is on the shoulders of their students, not of the very institution. FLACSO tries to carry this responsibility, because scientific investigation is the very weapon of this institute. It is away from the global rating system, for it’s not important. I believe that most universities who play global ratings are highly related to national industries that design to obtain capital. In these universities careers like Economics, Administration and Business, Technology and Natural Sciences, and Law are the main courses rather than Humanities or Social Sciences. Students study out of their personal preoccupation, rather than having a collective preoccupation of their own society. Neoliberal paradigm has hit hard on academia.

FLACSO is out of this neoliberal game. It’s walking with institutes like KDI, FGV, Sciences Po, and etc. In Latin America, FLACSO is well recognised as a prestigious institution which publishes vast amount of result of investigation for the betterment and development in Latin American societies.

The concept of Economic Dependency and Underdevelopment also was developed by this institution from the early 50s. This dependency theory is still considered critical when to analyse the economic and social development of third world countries.

Were there important people related to FLACSO then? It was hard to research though google, but I’ve heard at least two presidents (of Brazil and Chile), and some acting ministers of the region, are related to FLACSO, whether they have studied or worked in FLACSO system.

One said; you can change your nationality, but you wouldn’t change your university where you studied. Education matters. Especially when the education is formed to philosophise global scale of social and economic problems. The quality is getting better every month, as I’m almost finalising my study. I’m in my second year of the study. I only have approximately 6 more months to take all the credits then to write a thesis to hand in. Still struggling to read and collect more information about my thesis, but it’s quietly going on. It’s my handcraft. This work will earn me a craftsmanship.

It’s not yet certain what I’d do next year. Just as FLACSO system was created with an initiative of UNESCO, I’d like to give my time back to UN agency. I might be going back to CEPAL where I worked, as with different mission sponsored by the government. Or I might be applying some development field in African region so to practice what I’ve learnt and philosophised during this period of study. Staying in Latin America, or to say in Argentina, would be an option as well for I can maintain my residence, but a job opportunity in this fluctuating economy doesn’t seem guaranteed to me. Regardless of my departure for the next year, I’m proud and appreciated for my time and study that I’ve realised here with FLACSO Argentina.


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