Dr Andreza A de Souza Santos

I am the director of the Brazilian Studies Programme – Latin American Centre, University of Oxford, where I also teach on  politics and society in Brazil and Latin America. My research and teaching interests include participatory politics, inequalities and local governments. Regions of interest: Brazil, Latin America, South Africa, China and India. I am the author of the book: “The Politics of Memory: Urban Cultural Heritage in Brazil”. 

Andreza Santos


In September 2018, I joined the Latin American Centre as the Director of the Brazilian Studies Programme and Lecturer in Latin American Studies. I currently teach the courses: Cities and Citizenship in Latin AmericaPolitics in Brazil and Urban Ethnography. Before that, also at Oxford, I was a postdoc in the Urban Transformations team (School of Anthropology), where I coordinated research projects focusing on urban studies in Brazil, China, South Africa and India, this research produced two edited books published by Manchester University Press.

Currently, one of my research activities is in collaboration with the CADDE Centre, looking at local governments response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Brazil. We have published interdisciplinary research and created collaborations to create datasets of public interest.  

In addition to research and teaching, I also have policy experience and I worked as a political adviser for the UN in Vienna (UNODC), the Indian Embassy in Brazil, the Brazilian Confederation of Municipalities and the Brazilian Ministry of Social Development. 


2011-2015.  PhD in Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews (UK)

 2007 – 2009.  MA in Social Sciences, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg (Germany), University of KwaZulu Natal (Durban, South Africa) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (Delhi, India).

2006.   Visiting Student in Politics and German Language, University of Hamburg (Germany)

2001 – 2005.   BA in Political Science, University of Brasilia (Brazil)

While studying in Brazil, Germany, South Africa, India and the UK, I have used research and methods from Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology, as a result, my work is highly interdisciplinary. My investigation is mainly concerned with the intersections and the dynamics between formal and informal political and economic systems. In my ethnography in Brazil, I have observed participatory politics (Policy Councils): who participates in meetings, how do meetings develop, and which impact do participatory politics have in the city. What I have seen is that participating is not the same as voicing concerns, and people may go to meetings but remain silent. Sub-optimal decisions in policy councils are sometimes less costly for participants than confronting established powers in town. There is a negative relationship between participation and levels of economic dependency. Although grassroots politics is a valuable resource to press for urban amenities, it is important to consider when poverty mobilizes or discourages participatory politics.



Monographs and Edited Books

De Souza Santos, A. A. (2019) “The Politics of Memory: Urban Cultural Heritage in Brazil”Rowman & Littlefield International.

De Souza Santos, A. A. and Keith, M. (eds.) (2020), “Urban Transformations and Public Health in the Emergent City.” Manchester University Press.

De Souza Santos, A. A. and Keith, M.  (eds.) (forthcoming 2021), “African Cities and Collaborative Futures: Urban Platforms and Collaborative Logistics.Manchester University Press.

Journal Articles

De Souza W.M., Buss L.F. (…) de Souza Santos, A. A. “Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil“. Nature Human Behaviour (July, 2020).

Candido D., Claro I. (…) de Souza Santos, A. A.  “Evolution and pandemic spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil“.  Science (July, 2020).

De Souza Santos, A. A.  and Payne, Leigh A. “The right-wing backlash in Brazil and beyond”.  Politics and Gender (March, 2020).

De Souza Santos, A. A. “Governance challenges in Latin American cities“.  Cell Press One Earth (February, 2020)

De Souza Santos, A. A. (with Sue Iamamoto) “Mining legacies in contemporary Potosi and Ouro Preto”.  JLAG (October 2019).

De Souza Santos, A. A. “Trading time and space: grassroots negotiation in a Brazilian mining district.” Ethnography, (May 2019). 

De Souza Santos, A. A. “Risky closeness and distance in two fieldwork sites in Brazil.” Contemporary Social Science, (January 2018).

Book Chapters

De Souza Santos, A. A. (2019) “Risky closeness and distance in two fieldwork sites in Brazil”. In Abdelhalim, J & Marks, M (eds) Identity, agency and fieldwork methodologies in risky environments. Routledge.

De Souza Santos, A. A. and Tom Hulme (2019) “Cultural Marginality and Urban Place Making: the Case of Leicester and Ouro Preto”. In Cupples, J.  & T. Slater (eds.) Producing and contesting urban marginality: Interdisciplinary and comparative dialoguesRowman & Littlefield International.

 De Souza Santos, A. A. (2013) “Chandigarh and Brasilia: utopias or dystopias?” in Fulquet, G. Janz, C., Kumar, A. (eds.) Analyzing Globalisation in the 21st Century. FLACSO & Palm Leaf Publications, New Delhi, pp. 163-174

Book Review

De Souza Santos, A. A (2020) Review of the book “An economic and demographic history of Sao Paulo” by Vidal Luna and Herbert S. Klein. The Journal of Urban History.

De Souza Santos, A. A (2018) Review of the book “The limits to citizen power: Participatory democracy and the entanglements of the state” by Victor Albert. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

 De Souza Santos, A. A. (2014, April 9) Review of the book “Space and Society in Central Brazil: A Panará Ethnography” by Elizabeth Ewart. The London School of Economics and Political Science Review of Books


De Souza Santos, A. A.; (2020) Sobre ausências e a vã construção de um esquecimento nacional. Nexo Jornal

De Souza Santos, A. A.; (2019) What can we learn from the dam collapse in Brumadinho?, Latin Trade

De Souza Santos, A. A.; (2018) Brazil’s 2018 Elections and the Strength of a Weak Campaign, Sociological Review

De Souza Santos, A. A.; (2018) Amid the furore of Brazil’s 2018 elections: listening for the quiet voices. Latin American Bureau

De Souza Santos, A. A.; (2018) Political Indignation, Protest and Privilege in Brazil, Sociological Review

De Souza Santos, A. A.; (2018) São Paulo’s Deadly Housing Crisis – No Solution in Sight , Urban Transformations

De Souza Santos, A. A.; (2018) Understanding the complex challenges of Brazil’s citiesUrban Transformations 

De Souza Santos, A. A.; (2018) Urban informal settlements: contradiction, promise, and innovationOxford Urbanists

De Souza Santos, A. A.; (2017) Metropolitan health in unequal cities, Urban Transformations

De Souza Santos, A. A.; (2016) Could cultural heritage topple Brazil’s political establishment? Urban Transformations

De Souza Santos, A. A.; Keith, M.; Simcik Arese, N. (2016) How should we plan the cities of tomorrow?  The Conversation 

De Souza Santos, A. A.; Keith, M.;  Simcik Arese, N. (2016) O que podemos dizer sobre o futuro das cidades no Brasil e no mundo?  BBC Brasil

Interview & In the news




De Souza Santos, A. A. (2020) The impact of COVID-19 on Brazil. iTunes SpotifySound Cloud.  

De Souza Santos, A. A. (2020) Hegemonic Narratives (Panel 3) iTunes 


Political Economy of Latin America, University of Oxford (2019)

Cities and Citizenship in Latin America, University of Oxford (Since 2019)

Politics in Brazil, University of Oxford (Since 2019)

Doing Urban Ethnography, University of Oxford (Since 2017)

New Book
(Apply this code for 30% discount: RLINEW19)

Who decides which stories about a city are remembered? How do interpretations of the past shape a city’s present and future? In this book, I discuss notions of power and national identity by examining how nation-states negotiate the preservation of urban spaces and how a city interprets, resists, and consents to the functions and meanings that it has inherited and that it reinvents for itself. Looking at the Brazilian city of Ouro Preto, hailed as a National Monument (1930) and as one of the first generations of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (1980), I apply fine-grained ethnography and historical analysis to discuss the limits of Brazil’s imagery of social harmony and participatory democracy amid continuous inequality. 


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