Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Staff Profile

Emeritus Professor Esteban Castro

Emeritus Professor


José Esteban Castro has an interdisciplinary social science background. He was trained as a sociologist (1983-1988) at the National University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina, where he became Head Teaching Assistant in Urban Sociology (Career of Sociology) and provided Research Methodology seminars at the Gino Germani Research Institute until 1990. 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. In 2016 he became an Emeritus Professor at Newcastle University. He was Principal Investigator at the National Research and Technical Council (CONICET), Argentina between 2016 and 2022.

Castro's work has focused mainly on Latin America and Europe, in particular Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

Among other products of his research work in collaboration with international partners, Castro led the creation of the international research network WATERLAT-GOBACIT (www.waterlat.org), which he also coordinates. The network is dedicated to research, teaching and practical action in relation to the politics and management of water. It has over 400 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, the members are not only scholars and students based in academic institutions as the network also includes water experts and practitioners working in government departments, water utilities, Non Governmental Organizations, etc., as well as representatives from social movements, water user groups, labour unions, and other relevant social actors. As part of the network's activities of dissemination and engagement with wider publics, he developed and maintains a Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/Waterlat) and a Flickr photostream (https://www.flickr.com/photos/125391306@N03/). He also started and coordinates the network's Working Paper Series (www.waterlat.org/publications/working-papers-series). Castro has coordinated a number of international research projects and activities within the framework of the network, including the project DESAFIO (www.desafioglobal.org), which focused on Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, and PRINWASS (www.prinwass.org), which were funded by the European Union.

In addition to his work on the politics of water-related processes, he has two additional areas of research. The first, focuses on the interrelation between socio-ecological inequalities and injustice and the democratization process, with emphasis on Latin America and developing countries more generally (www.desdemo.org). The second, which has strong links with the first, is related to the development of the social sciences in Latin America.

Castro is member of several professional institutions and academic networks, including the International Sociological Association (ISA) and the Latin American Sociological Association (ALAS). He is a fellow of the Norbert Elias Foundation (http://norbert-elias.com/en/). In 2012 he became a Corresponding Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences (http://www.amc.mx/). He is a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Research on Latin American Studies (IELAT), University of Alcala, Spain, and a Visiting Professor at the Postgraduate Programmes in Sociology(PPGS), and Urban Development (MDU), and at the Centre for Advanced Studies (CEA), Federal University of Pernambuco(UFPE), Brazil.

See Google Scholar: here.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6106-4313.

See also: Interviews, short articles, and public lectures.