Gabriel Hetland

Gabriel Hetland

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Department of Africana, Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies
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Social Science 248C
Gabriel Hetland

Research Interests: Politics, democracy, the state, political parties, labor and social movements in Latin America and the United States. Focus on urban participatory democracy in cities governed by left and right parties in Venezuela and Bolivia.

Gabriel Hetland is a political sociologist who uses ethnographic and comparative historical methods to study democracy, the state, urban and national politics, labor and social movements in Latin America and the US. He received his PhD in Sociology from the University at California, Berkeley in 2015. He is working on a book (based on his dissertation) that compares participatory democracy in cities governed by Left and Right parties in Venezuela and Bolivia. This project challenges the idea that participatory reform can only succeed in cities governed by Left parties and in contexts in which civil society enjoys autonomy from the state and ruling party.

Personal Website:

Recent Publications (Academic)

2015. “The Labour of Learning: Overcoming the Challenges Confronting Union-
Community Alliances”. Work, Employment and Society. Online First. DOI:

  • Best Graduate Paper Award (Honorable Mention), Labor & Labor Movements Section American Sociological Association, 2009.

2014. “The Crooked Line: From Populist Mobilization to Participatory Democracy in Chávez-era Venezuela”. Qualitative Sociology 37(4): 373-401. Lead Article.

  • Outstanding Faculty Article Award, Sociology of Development Section American Sociological Association, 2015.
  • Best Article Award (Honorable Mention), Venezuelan Studies Section Latin American Studies Association, 2015.

Forthcoming. “From System Collapse to Chavista Hegemony: The Evolution of the Party Question in Chávez’s Venezuela”. Latin American Perspectives.

Forthcoming. “From Illustrating Problems to Providing Solutions: Latin America as a Source of Global Social Innovation.” In Global Latin America, edited by Matthew Gutmann and Jeffrey Lessing, Berkeley: University of California Press. (First author with Peter Evans)

2015. “Emergent Socialist Hegemony in Bolivarian Venezuela: The Role of the Party.” In From Crisis to Crises: Marxist Perspectives on Latin America in the Global Economy, edited by Jeffrey Webber and Susan Spronk. Brill Academic Press.

2013. “The Strange Disappearance of Capitalism from Social Movement Studies.” In Marxism and Social Movements, edited by Colin Barker, Laurence Cox, John Krinsky and Alf Nilsen. Brill Academic Press. (Equal co-author with Jeff Goodwin)

Recent Publications (Popular Press)

2015. “The Truth About Chávez: Bernie Sanders is Wrong – Hugo Chávez was no
dictator”. Jacobin. September 20.

  • Reprinted in NACLA, Telésur English, and the Centre for Research on Globalization.

2015. “Press Doublespeak at the Summit of the Americas”. NACLA. April 20.

2014. “How to Change the World: Movements and Institutions both Matter”, Berkeley Journal of Sociology. November 3.

2013. “What Next for Venezuela, After Chávez?” The Nation. March 8.

2012 “A New Way to Occupy City Hall: Participatory Budgeting.” The Nation.March 15. (First author, with graduate student Abigail N. Martin)

2012 “Grassroots Democracy in Venezuela.” The Nation. January 30.