Gibrán Cruz-Martínez

Ph.D. Political Science, MA Government and Public Administration, BA Political Science

About me

I am a political scientist and a Juan de la Cierva Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), and a Research Associate at the Chilean Institute of Municipal Studies, Universidad Autónoma de Chile.

My work broadly speaking focuses on the development of welfare systems and social protection in Latin America and the Caribbean and its relationship to multidimensional poverty and inequality. In addition, my research interests include welfare regimes and social risks in marginalised communities, targeting versus universalism in social protection, and basic universal social pensions in low- and middle-income countries.

I am the author of several peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Social Indicators Research, Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Poverty & Public Policy, Ageing International, Brazilian Journal of Latin American Studies, Política y Sociedad, and Relaciones Internacionales.

My first book, published in open access, is titled ‘Produciendo Bienestar: Una mirada desde las comunidades marginadas en Puerto Rico’ (Dykinson, 2017). My second and most recent book 'Welfare and Social Protection in Contemporary Latin America', was published in Routledge in 2019.

Before joining IPP-CSIC, I was affiliated to the University of Agder (Norway), and the Institute of the Americas, University College London (United Kingdom). I hold a PhD in Political Science from the Universidad Complutense (Spain).

I have been a visiting researcher or fellow at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), Federal University of Pernambuco (Brazil), Lund University (Sweden), Centre for Social Research (Puerto Rico), the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty at the University of Bergen (Norway), and the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of London (United Kingdom). I am also a member of the Editorial Board of Alternautas – an open access blog and Journal on Latin American critical development studies.

Feel free to contact me for questions, asking for a PDF of a publication or for any guidance. ;)

Check out my latest book!

This book brings together an interdisciplinary team of international experts to analyse social protection systems and welfare regimes across contemporary Latin America.

The book starts with a section tracking the expansion of social assistance and social insurance in Latin America through the state-led development era, the neoliberal era and the pink-tide. The second section explores the role played by local and external actors modelling social policy in the region. The third and final section addresses a variety of contemporary debates and challenges around social protection and welfare in the region, such as gender roles and the empowerment of CCT beneficiaries, and welfare provision for rural outsiders. The book touches on key topics such as conditional cash transfer programmes, trade union inclusionary strategies, transnational social policy, state-led versus market-led welfare provision, explanatory factors in the emerging dualism of social protection institutions, social citizenship rights as a consequence of changing social policy architecture and different poverty reduction strategies.

This interdisciplinary volume will be of interest to economists, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists and historians working on social protection in Latin America, or interested in welfare systems in the global south.

  • Read a free preview here


"Latin America is a fascinating region for the study of social policy: it combines past inequalities with a recent expansion, struggles with segmented social programs and presents diverse policy outcomes. The contributors from this book—a combination of renowned experts and exciting early career scholars from different parts of the world—offer many examples of the region’s richness. After reading the book, you will understand better how difficult it is to build more equitable social programs, but also how urgent it is in today’s world." -- Diego Sánchez Ancochea, Professor of the Political Economy of Development, University of Oxford, UK

"This edited collection brings together a group of young and established academics in the field of Latin American social policy to explore recent advances in the welfare regimes and the national and global actors shaping social protection systems. The case studies and comparative analyses in this book expand our knowledge of welfare systems in the Global South." -- Luis Moreno, Research Professor, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain

"Bringing new research and analytic perspectives, Welfare and Social Protection in Contemporary Latin America engages key debates over the history, economics and politics of Latin America’s welfare systems, and proposes new ways of classifying and comparing them. A wide-ranging interdisciplinary collection of quality contributions makes this book a most welcome addition to the field. It deserves wide readership within both policy and academic communities." -- Maxine Molyneux, Professor of Sociology, UCL Institute of the Americas, UK