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Dr Alejandro Milciades Pena

Department of International Politics

E: Alejandro.pena.1@city.ac.uk

Thesis title: Global and Local Trajectories of Social Standardisation: The Cases of Argentina and Brazil

Supervisors: Dr Tom Davies and Dr Sophie Harman

Overview and research interests

Alejandro's research focuses on three work streams. The first is the re-politicisation of state-society relations under post-neoliberal regimes in South America, in particular in Argentina and Brazil. The second stream concentrates on new forms of transnational private governance, with focus on standardisation. Third, he is interested in new constructivist approaches to IR theory, in particular applications of Niklas Luhmann's System Theory and other complexity theories.

His PhD dissertation was passed with no revisions on July 2013. The thesis examines the intersection of political economy and global governance, with a focus on how political economic structures in Argentina and Brazil affect participation in private governance initiatives. It offers a distinct contribution to the governance and standardisation literature by highlighting the relevance of national political variables in structuring engagement with global governance projects.

At the moment he is working on a series of journal articles on these three fronts, and the publication of his PhD dissertation as a monograph.

Alejandro holds a PhD in International Politics at City University, a M.Eng. in Industrial Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires, a Master in Sociology and Political Science from FLACSO Argentina, and an M.A. in Human Resource & Knowledge Management from Lancaster University.

Research interests:

  • Globalisation and Governance
  • Latin American Politics
  • State-Society Relations
  • International Relations and Sociological Theory
  • International Political Economy


  • Globalization from Above? Corporate Social Responsibility, the Workers' Party, and the Origins of the World Social Forum (with Thomas Davies), New Political Economy, DOI: 10.1080/13563467.2013.779651 (2013)
  • Brazil's role in global private governance: the corporate responsibility movement, party politics and neo-corporatist state-business relations, Critical Perspectives on International Business (under review, 2013)
  • Governing a functional world: On standardisation as steering, Working Paper (Presented at BISA 2013)
  • ISO and Social Standardisation: uncomfortable compromises in global policy-making, Working Paper, Report No. CUTP/009A, London, UK: Department of International Politics, City University London (2011).
  • Practices, Ideology and Control: An approach to the construction of the organisational subject, Master's Programme Dissertation, Buenos Aires: FLACSO. Published online due to 'Outstanding' qualification (2008).

Conference presentations

  • Beyond the Ivory Tower: IR and the Real World, BISA Conference, June 20 - 21st, University of Birmingham, UK (2013)
  • The Politics of Markets: shaping, steering and evaluation, University of Westminster - Goldsmiths University of London, June 13th, London, UK (2013).
  • Brazil: A landscape in motion, Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths University of London, May 22nd, London, UK (2013).
  • The Role of Large Emerging Countries in the World Economy: Threats and Opportunities for European Firms?', EPI 2012/ COST ACTION IS0905, June 18-19th, University of Parma, Italy (2012)
  • Rising Powers and the Future of Global Governance, South GovNet International Conference, May 16 - 17th, University of Sussex, UK (2012)
  • Diversity in the Discipline: Tension or Opportunity in Responding to Global Challenges, Joint BISA/ISA Conference, June 20-22th, University of Edinburgh, UK (accepted not attended) (2012)
  • Society of Latin American Studies (SLAS) Annual Conference, April 18-20th, University of Sheffield (accepted not attended) (2012)
  • Financialization and Everyday Life, 14th Berlin Roundtables on Transnationality, 25 - 29th June, Irmgard Coninx Foundation - Social Science Research Center Berlin - Humboldt-University Berlin (2011)
  • Guest Researcher, 8th ISO 26000 Plenary Forum, May 17- 21st, Copenhagen, Denmark (2010)


  • Actors in Global Politics (IP1013, a.y. 2012/13, Visiting Lecturer)
  • Transnational Social Movements (IP2014, a.y. 2012/13)
  • Change & Transformation in Global Politics (IP2013, a.y. 2012/13 and 2011/12)
  • Actors in Global Politics' (IP1013, a.y. 2009-10). Nominated for Teaching Excellence Award.