Sergio Fajardo: Contemporary Politics: Perspectives from Colombia for the World (GEOG 174)

Sergio Fajardo teaching a CLAS seminar, Spring 2016. (Photo by CLAS staff.)
Sergio Fajardo teaches a course at Berkeley, Spring 2016. (Photo by CLAS staff.)

The Center for Latin American Studies is hosting a special seminar taught by Colombian governor and presidential candidate Sergio Fajardo. This one-credit course will focus on themes that concern and affect the world today from a Latin American lens. The lectures will address the following topics:

• Populist politics
• Leadership in turbulent times 
• The fight against corruption
• New and old understandings of urban violence and criminality
• Multiple forms of inequality 
• Citizen’s culture
• Sustainable development, the environment, and biodiversity
• Women’s development
• Education, science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship


Sergio Fajardo is among the most innovative political leaders in Latin America. He is known for transforming the city of Medellin, once dubbed "the most dangerous city on earth." He recently ran for president of Colombia and received 24% (4.5 million) of the votes cast. Formerly, he served as the governor of Antioquia (2012-2015) and the mayor of Medellín (2004-2007). He was highly innovative in both offices, emphasizing education, public works, and community participation. Professor Fajardo holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and is a Visiting Scholar at the UC Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies during the Spring 2019 semester.

Harley Shaiken is the Class of 1930 Professor of Letters and Science and the Chair of the Center for Latin American Studies. He is a faculty member in the Berkeley Graduate School of Education and the Department of Geography. He specializes on issues of labor, technology, and global production. 

Class Schedule: 

Five lectures; Thursdays, 4-7pm, 2/21 – 3/21, Spring 2019. Students must attend all 5 lectures.

Eligibility and Application Instructions: 

This one-credit seminar is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduate students from all departments, pending permission from CLAS.

Applications for admission to the course are due 1/15/19. To apply for admission, fill out the online form here: If accepted to the course, you will receive a code to register.  

Questions can be directed to Julia Byrd, CLAS Vice Chair (