José Esteban Castro has an interdisciplinary social science background. He was trained as a sociologist (1983-1988) at the National University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where we became an assistant lecturer in Urban Sociology and Research Methodology. He also studied Psychology at the same university (1984-1990). Castro obtained a Masters in Social Science at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Mexico (1990-1992), and became a lecturer in Social Science at the same institution. In 1998, he received a DPhil in Politics from Oxford University. His dissertation focused on the interrelation between water politics and the formation of citizenship in Mexico, and was awarded the 1998 Post-graduate Prize of the British-Mexican Society. Before coming to Newcastle in 2005, he was a Senior Associate Researcher at Oxford University, Lecturer in Development Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Lecturer in Political Ecology at University College London.
Castro’s work has focused mainly on Latin America and Europe, in particular Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. He has been a visiting professor in a number of universities, including the National University of Buenos Aires (UBA), the National University of Rosario (UNR), the National University of Cordoba, the National University of Cuyo (UNCUYO) in Argentina, the University of Sao Paulo (USP), the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), and the State University of Paraiba (UEPB) in Brazil, the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and the Jesuit University ITESO in Mexico, the University of Lisbon in Portugal, and the University of Alcalá de Henares in Spain.
Castro currently coordinates the international research network WATERLAT-GOBACIT (www.waterlat.org) dedicated to research, teaching and practical action in relation to the politics and management of water. The network has over 300 members (http://waterlat.org/team/members-new/), of which about a third are students, mostly PhD and Master students but also undergraduate students (http://waterlat.org/team/students-new/). The members come from over 30 countries, most from the Americas and Europe, but also from Africa and Asia. However, our members are not only scholars and students based in academic institutions as we also have water experts and practitioners working in government departments, water utilities, Non Governmental Organizations, etc., as well as representatives from social movements, water users groups, workers unions, and other relevant social actors.
He also coordinates a number of international research projects and activities within the framework of the network, including the project DESAFIO (www.desafioglobal.org), which focuses on Brazil, Colombia and Argentina and is funded by the European Union. Castro is also doing research on the interrelation between socio-ecological inequalities and injustice and the democratization process in Latin America. He developed and maintains a Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/Waterlat) and a Flickr photostream (https://www.flickr.com/photos/125391306@N03/) as part of his activities of dissemination and engagement with wider publics.
Castro is member of several professional institutions and academic networks, including the International Sociological Association (ISA), the Latin American Sociological Association (ALAS), and the Figurational Research Network of the Norbert Elias Foundation (http://www.norberteliasfoundation.nl/network/index.php). In 2012 he became a Corresponding Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences (http://www.amc.mx/).