2020 applicants

Amaru Villanueva

Postgraduate Research Student
Department of Sociology
 Amaru Villanueva



I was born and grew up in La Paz - Bolivia, and have a multidisciplinary background in the social sciences and humanities. I studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE), and later completed an MSc in Social Science of the Internet. After university I worked in the fields of innovation, strategy, digital marketing, and research for an internet and telecommunications company in the UK and the US (most recently in Mountain View, California). In 2010 I founded Bolivian Express, a cultural project which aims to strengthen ties between Bolivia and the English-speaking world through journalism training programs and the publication of a free monthly magazine. Since returning to Bolivia in 2012 I have been a university lecturer (UCB), consultant (UNDP) and freelance journalist. I have written for publications in Bolivia, Belgium Mexico and the UK (including The Guardian, the Financial Times, BBC World, and Port). In 2013 I was researcher and writer for Ezekiel 36:36, a publication by Nick Ballón, chosen by TIME Magazine as one of the best photobooks of 2013. In 2015 I published Bolivia Out of Sight: Postcards from the Unreported (Plural Editores), as general editor and co-author. I later became a civil servant: from 2013 to 2017 I was General Director of CIS, an institution created by the Bolivian government which commissions and publishes academic research. As part of my role at CIS, from 2014 I also headed Biblioteca del Bicentenario de Bolivia (BBB), a state project which aims to publish the 200 most significant works in the country's history. In 2017 I started a PhD in Sociology. My research aims to explore the relation between social transformation and urban development in La Paz - Bolivia. More specifically, I am studying discourses and practices around Bolivia's middle classes. My research is funded by the Fuller-Lockwood scholarship, awarded by the University of Essex.


  • BA Politics, Philosophy, Economics (First Class) Oxford University (2009)

  • MSc Social Science of the Internet University of Oxford (2010)

Research and professional activities


Condominium citizenship: changing forms of community governance and class contours in middle-income La Paz Bolivia

Supervisor: Dr Andrew Canessa




Colchester Campus