Pedagogy as a socio-political process

The journey begins by examining and recognising the legacies: the centrality of neutrality as an effort to establish a distance between people and knowledge — a strong desire for separation and, thus, an aspiration to objectivity, as if we were playing God’s trick of seeing everything from nowhere.

This distancing is clearly captured in the internationalisation of the curriculum: area studies that focus on regions/countries/subjects/objects in the peripherality, where they are to be told not to be heard: foreign subjects that constitute the objects of (expert) knowledge, often framed under a deficit narrative, e.g. …

*This article was published as a two-part series in Baismag

‘I don’t think we did go blind; I think we are blind.
Blind but seeing, blind people who can see, but do not see.’”

― José Saramago, Blindness

In early April, Arundhati Roy compared the virus with a chemical experiment that suddenly illuminated all the hidden things. The levels of precarity, polarisation, segregation, insecurity, indebtedness, and alienation pervading in our societies shone under the chemical spray of the pandemic. The virus was expected to act as a great leveller at first, as it did not recognise regimes, borders, or nationalities…

The COVID-19 crisis illuminates gendered and racialised aspects of precarity that were steeping in academia. The increased burden of unpaid care work has skewed research output. Casualised staff, many of them international, are expected to withstand the worst of the crisis. What action can we take?

COVID-19 has illuminated deep-seated inequalities overlooked during ‘normal’ times. As we grapple with the extent and severity of the outbreak, we have been required to isolate and contemplate the imminent cessation of economic activities. The fragility of our systems has come into sharp relief, evincing that is not necessarily the virus, but the lack of regulation and protection that amplifies inequalities among us.

What is work? What is essential?

COVID-19 gave us a new grammar to talk about what we do and how it is valued: essential and non-essential work. What we now consider essential work is the kind of…

When it comes to systemic risk, governments are required to do ‘whatever it takes’ — but even that is a privilege developing and emerging economies cannot afford.

by Sebastián Carvajal, a heterodox economist interested in monetary theory and policy & María Gabriela Palacio, a political economist interested in development studies and social policy

As we grapple with the extent and severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are coming to terms with the idea that this crisis is not comparable to the 2008’s financial crisis nor to the Great Depression of the 1930s, some analysts have referred to this period as one of a war economy. We are required to (self)isolate and contemplate the imminent cessation of economic activities and payments, breakages of supply chains and the inability to move labour around. The collapse of trade, FDI, banking and credit, insurance and merchandising are taking place concurrently and everywhere. We are all in uncharted…

Hard choices in times of COVID-19

With the COVID-19 outbreak, we have become observers of an unprecedented crisis that unfolds from the singular to the collective. We cannot shield ourselves from a pandemic: our faiths are interconnected.

As we grapple with its extent and severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are coming to terms with the idea that this crisis is not comparable to the 2008’s financial crisis nor to the Great Depression of the 1930s, analysts have referred to this period as one of war economy. We are required to (self)isolate and contemplate the imminent cessation of economic activities, breakages of supply chains and the…

We struggle to relate across our human differences as equals. As a result, those differences are misnamed and misused in the service of fear and confusion.

Somewhere, on the edge of our consciousness, there is what some call a mythical norm, something that we say, well ‘that is not me’. When you learn about how many refuse to #stayhome, you start thinking that all they can hear is a distorted echo. Too often, it seems we pour the energy needed for recognising and exploring difference into pretending that those differences do not exist at all. If we fail to recognise…

Politics of domination are reproduced in the educational setting. The education most of us have had or give is not politically neutral, despite claims to neutrality and objectivity. Who shares such facts — or who receives them, is a subject in history.

For some of us, our personal histories are part of established ways of knowing. We enter an academic institution, and we can feel immediately comfortable. We have got a free entry pass that can open all doors. We read ourselves in the books. But for others, our personal histories are a threat. They do not fit under established ways of knowing. The story-telling, weaving, or silence: these are not considered legitimate forms of producing sound research. Our pain, our rage, our hopes, our desires, they are not valid drivers of academic research. Our histories are untold, misconstrued, or erased from…

Por @diazfabioandres y María Gabriela Palacio

Desde el pasado noviembre, Colombia ha sido testigo de protestas sin precedentes, las más largas desde 1977. La sociedad civil, considerada adormilada, ha despertado.

Estas protestas son parte de una “primavera” latinoamericana iniciada en septiembre de este año, con movilizaciones en Haití, México, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Panamá, Ecuador, Bolivia y Chile.

Sin embargo, las de Colombia no son solo el resultado de una tendencia regional ni pueden ser atribuidas a una sola tendencia política.

¿Quiénes están protestando y por qué?

Los colombianos están protestando contra la inequidad. Colombia es el país más inequitativo dentro de la OECD. Al malestar con la…

By Fabio Díaz Pabón & María Gabriela Palacio

Since late November, Colombia has seen unprecedented mobilisations. These protests constitute the longest mobilisation since 1977. These protests illustrate the awakening of a muffled civil society that has reclaimed more space for expressing their voices in the wake of armed violence.

Protests taking place now in Colombia relate to a Latin American “spring” as demonstrations swept the region since September 2019 from Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Panamá, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia to Chile. However, these mobilisations are not merely following a regional trend nor can be attributed to a single ideological leaning…

Originally published at on November 28, 2019.

Noise or signal?

Social media’s role in Bolivia’s coup

By Fabio Díaz Pabón & María Gabriela Palacio


The role of social media in the recent coup d’état in Bolivia illustrates the associated risk of amplifying narratives that support de facto actions based on half-baked truths. Social media extends its influence beyond its capacity to influence public opinion. This was evidenced in the referendum for Brexit or the election of Donald Trump in the United States, among other cases.

Social media has become an extension of our regular communication, a space where we share what we consider essential. It does not come…

María Gabriela Palacio

Critical social policy. Political Economy. Latin America.

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