Edgardo Lander

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Edgardo Lander
Edgardo Lander - cropped.jpg
Lander at the 2010 World Social Forum
Born1942 (1942)
Caracas, Venezuela
Academic background
ThesisThe theory of marginality from a Marxist perspective[1]
Academic work

Edgardo Lander (born 1942)[2] is a Venezuelan sociologist and left-wing intellectual. A professor emeritus of the Central University of Venezuela and fellow of the Transnational Institute, he is the author of numerous books and research articles on democracy theory, the limits of industrialization and economic growth, and left-wing movements in Latin America.[3][4]

Life and career[edit]

Lander was born in Caracas.[2] His father, Luis Lander, was one of the founding members of the Democratic Action party in Venezuela and had been a member of the short-lived Rómulo Gallegos government. After the 1948 coup d'état, his father was imprisoned for nearly a year. Upon his release, Luis Lander and his family went into exile and Lander spent his childhood and early teen-age years successively in Mexico, Canada, the US, and Costa Rica. The family returned to Venezuela following the overthrow of the military dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez in 1958. His father went on to become the head of the Banco Obero de Venezuela (Workers' Bank of Venezuela) during the presidency of Rómulo Betancourt.[5][6][7]

At university Lander initially vacillated between studying physics and psychology before eventually setting on sociology.[5] He received his Licentiate in sociology from the Central University of Venezuela in 1964 and his PhD in sociology from Harvard University in 1977. His doctoral dissertation was entitled The theory of marginality from a Marxist perspective.[8]

On his return to Venezuela, Lander became a professor of social science at the Central University of Venezuela where he served as the director of the School of Sociology from 1983 to 1985. He was also a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1985 and 1986. Lander was a consultant to the Venezuelan commission negotiating the Free Trade Area of the Americas, a member of the Editorial Board of the Venezuelan Journal of Economics and Social Sciences, and one of the organizers of the 2006 World Social Forum.[2][9][3][10]


Lander was critically supportive of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.[5] In his 2005 article "Venezuelan Social Conflict in a Global Context", he argued that the imposition of neoliberal policies in Venezuela had set the stage for Chávez's election in 1998.[11] According to The New York Times, he "touched off a firestorm among Chavistas" in 2006 with an article suggesting that Chávez's attempt to build a single Socialist Party may have been premature in light of still-vivid memories of the authoritarianism that had characterized socialist governments in 20th century.[12] Lander has also criticized Venezuela's economic dependence on oil exports.[13]

In July 2017, Lander was one of the signatories to a declaration by the Plataforma Ciudadana en Defensa de la Constitución (Citizen Platform in Defense of the Constitution), whose members had been supporters of Chávez but were highly critical of his successor Nicolás Maduro.[14] The declaration urged a boycott of the 2017 Venezuelan Constituent Assembly election and said in part:

President Maduro and other government spokesmen have argued that this Constituent Assembly will seek peace and dialogue. Nothing could be further from the truth. With an illegitimate and mono-partisan assembly, the possibility for dialogue and negotiation could be definitively closed.[14][a]

A further declaration was issued in late January 2019 co-authored by Lander and seven other members of the Plataforma Ciudadana en Defensa de la Constitución. The declaration forcefully rejected the actions of the Maduro government but also rejected the intervention of the United States and the creation of a "parallel state" with Juan Guaidó as its self-declared president, fearing that the situation risked a civil war.[15][16] In early February members of the group, including Lander and Héctor Navarro, a former minister in the Chávez government, met with Guaidó to discuss the way forward.[17]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Modernidad y universalismo. Edgardo Lander, Democracia y Pensamiento Crítico Seminario "Diálogo Interregional sobre Desarrollo (1st ed.). Caracas, Venezuela: Rectorado de la Universidad Central de Venezuela. 1991. ISBN 980-317-002-3. OCLC 25837203.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Lander, Edgardo (1994). Neoliberalismo, sociedad civil y democracia : ensayos sobre Venezuela y América Latina. Caracas: Universidad Central de Venezuela. ISBN 9789800023167. OCLC 847489171.
  • Lander, Edgardo (1997). La democracia en las ciencias sociales latinoamericanas contemporáneas. [Caracas]: FACES/UCV. ISBN 980-00-1049-1. OCLC 39459194.
  • Editor and contributor of La colonialidad del saber : eurocentrismo y ciencias sociales : perspectivas latinoamericanas. Edgardo Lander, Santiago Castro-Gómez (1st ed.). Buenos Aires: Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales-CLACSO. 2000. ISBN 950-9231-51-7. OCLC 48474076.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Promesas en su laberinto : cambios y continuidades en los gobiernos progresistas de América Latina. Edgardo Lander, Carlos Arze, Javier Gómez, Pablo Ospina, Víctor Álvarez R., Instituto de Estudios Ecuatorianos (Primera edición ed.). [Quito, Ecuador]. 2013. ISBN 978-99954-786-7-4. OCLC 880516916.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)


  1. ^ Original Spanish: "Presidente Maduro y otros voceros del gobierno han argumentado que con esta Constituyente se busca la paz y el diálogo. Nada más lejos de la verdad. Con una Constituyente ilegítima y mono-partidista podrían cerrarse en forma definitiva las posibilidades de diálogos y negociaciones"


  1. ^ OCLC 76993520
  2. ^ a b c The impact of technology on human rights : global case-studies : studies on the affirmative use of science and technology for the furtherance of human rights, commissioned as a special project by the United Nations University, following a reference to the University by the United Nations Human Rights Commission. C. G. Weeramantry, United Nations University. Tokyo: United Nations University Press. 1993. p. 321. ISBN 0-585-09722-4. OCLC 44965427.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ a b Transnational Institute. "Edgardo Lander". Retrieved 11 February 2019
  4. ^ Vogel, Wolf-Dieter (10 July 2014). "Die Regierung sabotiert sich". Die Tageszeitung. Retrieved 11 February 2019 (in German).
  5. ^ a b c Jay, Paul (10 April 2014). "From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela – Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself". The Real News Network. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  6. ^ Salas, Luis (21 September 2016). "Edgardo Lander, Esopo y el betancourismo nostálgico". 15 y Último. Retrieved 11 February 2019 (in Spanish).
  7. ^ Velasco, Alejandro (2015). Barrio rising : urban popular politics and the making of modern Venezuela. Oakland, California: University of California Press. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-520-95918-7. OCLC 910935589.
  8. ^ Harvard University. Commencement, June 16, 1977, p. 147. Retrieved via University of North Texas Libraries 11 February 2019.
  9. ^ Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Edgardo Lander. Universidad de Guadalajara. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  10. ^ Morsbach, Greg (25 January 2006). "Caracas excels as left-wing haven". BBC News. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  11. ^ Ellner, Steve and Salas, Miguel Tinker (March 2005). "Introduction: The Venezuelan Exceptionalism Thesis Separating Myth from Reality". Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 32, No. 2, p. 14. Retrieved 11 February 2019 (subscription required).
  12. ^ Romero, Simon (24 January 2007). "In Venezuela, Chavismo Is Dissected by Fans and Foes". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  13. ^ Campoy, Ana (6 July 2016). "These are the brutal emergency measures it would take to pull Venezuela back from collapse". Quartz. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  14. ^ a b EFE (25 July 2017). "Chavistas críticos alertan de violencia si se instala Constituyente". El Mundo. Retrieved 11 February 2019 (in Spanish).
  15. ^ Navarro, Héctor et al. (25 July 2019). "No al “Estado paralelo”, a la intervención extranjera y al régimen inconstitucional de Maduro". Brecha. Retrieved 12 February 2019 (in Spanish).
  16. ^ Plataforma Ciudadana en Defensa de la Constitución (2 February 2019). "Declaración internacional: Por una solución democrática, desde y para el pueblo venezolano". Viento Sur. Retrieved 12 February 2019 (in Spanish).
  17. ^ Matheus, Marjuli (5 February 2019). "Maduro, un usurpador; Guaidó con más legitimidad pero no como presidente del país: exministro de Chávez". Proceso. Retrieved 12 February 2019 (in Spanish).

External links[edit]