Dr. Raúl Acosta-Garcia

Raúl Acosta-García is currently preparing fieldwork for his project ‘Aspirational activism in urban Latin America’, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). This investigation will look into emerging activist groups who are guided not by ideology or identity, but by aspirations for a better quality of life in the cities they inhabit. The focus is on the patterns underlying their discourses, practices and public performances with which they build agreements over collective visions of better futures for urban dwellers. It is a comparative study of activist networks in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Acosta- García’s research has focused so far mostly on the internal dynamics of activist networks. For his doctoral research, he studied networks in the Brazilian Amazon and in the Mediterranean. His thesis explored the role of dissent among activists, as the negotiations required among the wide variety of viewpoints in order to reach a consensus to face government and international agencies. This provided the basis for a further project in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he analysed the quality of dialogue within activist networks, according to their own expectations.

For further information please see  Raul Acosta-Garcias CV.

Publications by Dr. Raúl Acosta-Garcia



NGO and social movement networking in the World Social Forum. An anthropological approach. Saarbruecken: VDM Publishing.

Edited volumes


Dialogue as an object of study: approximations to a quotidian process and its quality [original title in Spanish: El diálogo como objeto de estudio: aproximaciones a un proceso cotidiano y a su calidad. Guadalajara: ITESO.

[together with Sadaf Rizvi and Ana Santos] Making sense of the global. Anthropological approaches to interconnections and processes. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Journal articles (peer reviewed)


[together with Esperanza Ortiz Martinez] Mexico through a superdiversity lens: already-existing diversity meets new immigration. Ethnic and Racial Studies 38(4): 636-649.


[together with Juan Larrosa Fuentes and Sofia Palau Cardona] Decisiones públicas sin diálogo público: análisis de los argumentos sobre el caso de la Vía Express vertidos en la prensa de Guadalajara, Comunicación y Sociedad 21(1): 133-159. [English title: Public decisions without public dialogue]


Advocacy networks through a multidisciplinary lens: implications for research agendas. Voluntas. International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 23(1): 156-181


Mapping Solidarity: How Public Anthropology Provides Guidelines for Advocacy Networks, Anthropology in Action 16(3): 32-40.

Articles in edited volumes


Activismo práctico como reapropriación del conocimiento público, in Comunicar ciencia en México: discursos y espacios sociales. Vol. 2, edited by S. Herrera Lima, C.E. Orozco Martínez, & E. Quijano Tenrreiro. Guadalajara: ITESO. [English title: Practical activism as reappropriation of public knowledge]

‘We are plumbers of democracy’: a study of aspirations to inclusive public dialogues in Mexico and its repercussions, in Public Anthropology in a Borderless World, edited by S. Beck & C. Maida. Oxford: Berghahn.


Mapping Solidarity: How Public Anthropology Provides Guidelines for Advocacy Networks, in Toward engaged anthropology, edited by S. Beck and C. Maida. New York: Berghahn.

Capacity infrastructure in Brazil: legacies of participation training in Christian base communities, in Faith in civil society: religious actors as drivers of change, edited by H. Mosknes & M. Melin. Uppsala: University of Uppsala. Pp. 134-143.

Other publications


Scaling claims of common good: transnational and intercultural advocacy in the Brazilian Amazon. Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity Working paper 12.03. URL: http://www.mmg.mpg.de/workingpapers


Global dialogue. How transnational advocacy networks create new codes. Global Studies Journal (electronic journal) Vol. 2.

Un modelo para la toma de decisiones colectivas a partir de investigación intencionada, Debate Social 22 (e-journal) [English title: A decision-making model from applied research]

Book reviews


Vertovec, S. (ed) (2015) Diversities old and new: migration and socio-spatial patterns in New York, Singapore, and Johannesburg. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, in Ethnic and Racial Studies Review Published online 23.10.2015. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2015.1095340

Hennessy, R. (2013) Fires on the border: the passionate politics of labor organizing on the Mexican frontera. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, in Women’s History Review 24(4): 623-625.


Juris, J. and A. Khasnabish (eds) (2013) Insurgent encounters: transnational activism, ethnography, and the political. Durham: Duke University Press, in Anthropos 209(2): 703-705.


Amit, V. and N. Rapport (2012) Community, cosmopolitanism and the problem of human commonality. London: Pluto Press, in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 19(4): 882-883.


Dunbar, R., C. Gamble, and J. Gowlett (eds) (2010) Social brain, distributed mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press, in the Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford [online] New series IV(2): 214-215

D’Avray, D.L. (2010) Rationalities in history: a Weberian essay in comparison. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18(1): 239-240.

Moore, H. (2011) Still life: hopes, desires, and satisfactions. Cambridge: Polity, in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18(3): 728-729.

Brooks, S. (2012) Rice biofortification: lessons for global science and development. London: Earthscan, in the Journal of Biosocial Science 44(1): 127-128.


Glasner, P. (ed) (2004) Reconfiguring nature: issues and debates in the new genetics. Cardiff Papers in Qualitative Research. Aldershot: Ashgate, in the Journal of Biosocial Science 41(6): 846-847.


Lester, R.J. (2005) Jesus in our wombs: embodying modernity in a Mexican convent. Berkeley: University of California Press, in the Journal of Biosocial Science 40(5): 798-799.

Mulgan, G. (2006) Good and bad power: the ideals and betrayals of government. London: Allen Lane, in Renglones [online] 59.


Argyrou, V. (2005) The logic of environmentalism: anthropology, ecology, and postcoloniality. New York: Berghahn Books, in the Journal of Biosocial Science 39(6): 940-942.

Stephen, L. (2005) Zapotec women: gender, class, and ethnicity in globalized Oaxaca. Durham: Duke University Press, in the Journal of Peasant Studies 34(2): 344-345.


Martin, J. (2005) Tepoztlan and the transformation of the Mexican state: the politics of loose connections. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, in the Journal of Peasant Studies 33(3): 363-365.



Cada opinión cuenta: votar implica decidir qué comunidad queremos todos. Guadalajara: Petra Ediciiones [Children’s book. English title: Each opinion counts: voting implies deciding the type of community we all want]