Juan Carlos Ruiz

PhD Student, Department of Sociology, University of Essex, UK



Research project

My research aims to explore what kind of violence are taking place in excluded communities of Santiago de Chile. In particular, it will examine what types of violence are taking place in neighbourhoods in the outskirts of the city and to what degree the violence occurring within these neighbourhoods is instrumental for economical, social or institutional aims. At the same time, it is also necessary to distinguish if the violence exerted is instrumental to reach one specific aim, or state a symbolic issue in a different realm. Secondly, How segregation, stigmatization, absence or poor standard of public services as examples of socio-spatial dynamics might be linked with the violence in these neighbourhoods;  the urbanization process, the current public policies applied and how the local residents of these communities feel about the rest of the city are part of this issue. It will also explore the role of the State (and its absence) in relation to the spread of violence; whether it contributes to the increase of violence through the use of police repression as its only face in these communities or by the total absence of the State in these neighbourhoods. Finally, it will research the sources and actors of formal and informal social control within these communities. For example, how much is part of the ‘old structure’ – social organizations, schools, political parties – present and operative in the communities and which are the new actors of the neighbourhood life?


I am sociologist and Master in Urban Development from Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile. I have worked in the Urban Security Program in the Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago de Chile from 2006 to 2010, where During this period I was involved in different topics regarding urban violence, security and urban renewal in excluded neighbourhoods.

I have developed projects at the local level, implementing delinquency-prevention programmes and grassroots neighbourhood-renewal projects. I also participated in international cooperation programmes (Urb-Al II, UNDP El Salvador and UN HABITAT).

I was associated lecturer in Urban Sociology and Education Sociology at Universidad Alberto Hurtado. I was also teacher in several training programmes in delinquency prevention and drug-abuse prevention and prevention public policies at the local level in Chile and El Salvador.

Currently, I’m following a Sociology PhD in the Department of Sociology at University of Essex. My research focuses on urban violence in excluded districts of Santiago de Chile. Beside this, my areas of interest are: urban movements, governance at the local level, and grassroots urban development.




PhD in Sociology, University of Essex:  http://www.essex.ac.uk/sociology/staff/profile.aspx?ID=2025

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