External Doctoral Candidates

Juan Carlos Aguirre Avaria

 Doctoral Candidate (DAAD Doctoral Studies Grant)

Room: FG 1.044

Email: juan.carlos.aguirre@fau.de

The complete curriculum vitae as an attachment.








Sandra Zapata

Research Fellow

Room: FG 1.044
Email: sandra.zapata@fau.de









Sandra Zapata, Ph.D. is Research Fellow at the Chair of International Business and Society Relations with focus on Latin America. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Sciences with focus on International Relations from Salamanca University, a master in International Development Policies from Seoul National University in South Korea and a master in International Relations and Cooperation from FLACSO Ecuador.

Her research focuses on the political-economy of development, especially the connection between South-South Cooperation and development models. The three main areas of study thereof derived include: Foreign policy –the relations of South American countries vis-a-vis China (new partner of the Global South) and the United States (traditional partner of the Global North). Development models –autonomy & dependency relations of Ecuador towards the USA and China. Regionalism dynamics –comparative regionalism between the European Union and the post-neoliberal wave UNASUR, ALBA, CELAC in Latin America.

Ms. Zapata also acted as a practitioner of Development Cooperation for the public sector, international organizations and NGOs for more than ten years. She has hold policy-making and project management roles. She has also carried out negotiations and implementation of all life-cycle-projects, as well as led panels and moderated symposiums in cross-cultural settings in Germany, Spain, Canada, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, among others.

  • International Political Economy of Development – South-South Cooperation
  • Foreign policy of Andean countries towards USA and China
  • Regional integration in Europe and Latin America

Recent articles:


  • Zapata, Sandra (2021). South-South Cooperation in Latin America in the XXI century: New challenges in a convulsive international scenario. (Forthcoming 2021).

Complete list of publications and research profile (attachment)

The reconfiguration of the EU presence in Latin America. Jean Monnet Project funded by the European Union 2020-2022

Role: researcher and member of the organizing team

Web site: https://www.euinlac.eu/team/


The Jean Monnet project “The Reconfiguration of the EU presence in Latin America and the Caribbean (EUinLAC)” analyses EU-LAC relations in a challenging and fast-changing global scenario. This includes COVID-19, BREXIT, a new EU Commission and a new US administration, the rise of China and other emerging powers, and the role of Germany. The project responds to three needs:

  1. to boost teaching on the EU and its values against rising scepticism.
  2. to raise awareness of the EU actual presence and action in Latin America.
  3. to strengthen links between European and LAC civil societies, including expat communities.

The truly interdisciplinary and international team will address two crucial aspects of EU-LAC relations: the role and foreign policy of key actors in the EU and LAC with the capacity of driving bi-regional relations, and topical and innovative issues on the bi-continental agenda for a greener, more inclusive and prosperous future.

International developments in the 21st century: Where does Latin America stand in World Politics?

Project in cooperation with the Bavarian Virtual High School (VHB)

Role: Video contribution about the topic “Overview of human development in Latin America”

Comparative Foreign Policies in Latin America. Project in cooperation with FLACSO Ecuador.

Role: researcher

The Political Economy of Development: The Case of Ecuador.

This lecture* focuses on Ecuador, the South American and Andean country. It examines the political economy of the country’s development, focusing on three central ideas that have marked its path throughout history: the development models, the conflictive relations between the State and social actors, and the impact of globalization on the periphery. The analytical reflection of this case study allows us to understand the link between State-Market-Society for Ecuador and to glimpse into its international insertion perspectives in the future.


* This class is part of the seminar on “Politics and economy in Latin America” held by Prof. Gian Luca Gardini