I grew up in a small village in Austria and I have been living in Guatemala since 1996. I have worked with war-affected population and indigenous villages in remote areas for several years, where I witnessed the Guatemalan peace process and democratic transition. Then I did an undergrad in History at the University of La Habana (2014) and a master degree in Latin American Studies at the University of Vienna (2018).
The Ph.D. project is going to have a strong empirical focus, based on my long-standing experience of doing research on power networks in collaboration with international foundations, grassroots organisations and academic institutions in Latin America. Living and working in the area allowed me to experience (and investigate) the dynamics of accumulation, adaptation and perpetuity of power networks and its political-social, economic and environmental consequences. The project will explore drivers and dynamics of (catastrophic) transitions in political and economic systems, based on an empirical and comparative network/connectivity approach in transactions between private (economic) and public (political) nodes. It is about (re) production of power asymmetries in societies. Hence the questions I would like to address are: At what point of accumulation does an irreversible systemic change occur? When does a democracy stop being democracy? At what time we can no longer talk about a free and competitive market?