Welcome to the Observatory on Latin America (OLA) at the New School. This space was created in 2006 with the aim of generating new opportunities for multiple narratives and public debate about reform and the process of change occurring in the hemisphere.

The broad theme of the OLA is “Social Democracy in a globalized world: anticipating the future in Latin America.” Our goal is to improve academic and public understanding by observing and studying the political and economic change in the region.

We are equally concerned with generating a public dialogue between the United States and Latin America on the challenges in building a social democracy in a globalized world.  The OLA also provides the  opportunity for Latin American leaders to express their views directly to an audience in this country.

The activities of the OLA are focused on four programs, Latin America on the Move, President Néstor Kirchner Fellowship, Design & Development, and Building Latin American Bicentennials. The most recent Cuba Program reflects a twofold intention to broaden the geographical scope of the Observatory’s activities, and deepen the understanding of socio-political changes in the region as well as social democracy building. OLA has also dedicated a special space in honor of Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo.

Within these, we organize lectures, debates, research programs, calls for papers and audiovisual materials, inter-regional meetings and other activities that make our task broadly diverse and inclusive. The OLA also works with other departments within The New School, such as Parsons The New School for Design as well as the Graduate Program in International Affairs (GPIA), an international affairs  Masters program that offers a diverse range of courses highlighting the importance of the interplay between theory and practice. Many courses offered at GPIA have a focus on Latin America and allow for an in-class academic dynamic to our programs and events. This year, we have many new activities and proposals planned that we will be adding and announcing. We look forward to see you at our events, initiate a fluid dialogue, and continue to improve and grow the work of the OLA. 

Michael Cohen,

Professor of the Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs (SGPIA), the New School University.