Building peace in the minds of men and women

UNESCO/Juan Bosch Prize for the Promotion of Social Science Research in Latin America and the Caribbean

Laureate 2017 - Estefanía Ciro Rodríguez

UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, has named Estefanía Ciro Rodríguez (Colombia) as the laureate of the UNESCO/Juan Bosch Prize for the Promotion of Social Science Research in Latin America and the Caribbean, on the recommendation of an international jury. The prize rewards her research on the role of coca leaf cultivation in the Amazonian rainforest communities of Colombia.

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The UNESCO/Juan Bosch Prize was instituted by the Executive Board, at the initiative of the Government of the Dominican Republic, in connection with the commemoration of the centenary of Professor Bosch’s birth in 2009. In creating the Prize, the Member States on the Executive Board recognized the remarkable contribution of Professor Juan Bosch to the study of social and political processes in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean region.

Awarded every two years, the Prize is intended to reward the best social science thesis of young researchers. The thesis, on a Latin America and the Caribbean subject, has to have made a significant research contribution to the promotion of social science research geared to social development policies in the region.

It was awarded for the first time in 2012 to Ms Karen Nathalia Cerón Steevens (Colombia), in recognition of the quality of her research on youth violence in Central America.

Inspired by the life of Professor Juan Bosch and the humanist spirit of his work, the Prize seeks to foster critical, rigorous and independent research on contemporary challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, in ways that are useful for stronger public policies and practices. The objective of the Prize is to motivate young researchers to work in support of shared values of human rights and dignity and to promote new forms of solidarity.

The award winners receive a diploma and a monetary award of 10,000 US dollars.



Juan Bosch was an author, politician, social analyst and fervent advocate of democratic values and a culture of peace in Latin America and the Caribbean. Through his work in literature, sociology and history, he made a remarkable contribution to the study of social and political processes in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean region for essayists, journalists and historians, among them some of the most outstanding figures of Latin America and the Caribbean. Professor Bosch is thus a symbol of national dignity, a source of great pride to our peoples and an example to be followed for present and future generations.

Juan Bosch lived in a period of complex historical circumstances that characterized Latin American and Caribbean countries during the 20th century: the two World Wars and the decolonisation process in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean led to deep social and economic transformations that would change international relations. Throughout these historical moments, we find Juan Bosch exerting great intellectual and moral influence in favour of the most noble causes. His brief period as President of the Dominican Republic, interrupted by a coup d’état, was a time where social transformations in the Dominican Republic hugely impacted the big majority of its society, hitherto marginalized by decades of violent dictatorship.

During his entire life, whether in the Dominican Republic or in the countries where he had to go to exile, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba or Spain, he continuously worked both in the political and cultural areas. As a politician, he founded and took part in various initiatives and organizations conceived as instruments for social action. As an intellectual, he produced remarkable literary and academic work, e.g. novels, short stories, essays and articles. Juan Bosch’s life and work are examples of intellectual commitment to the most just causes of his time.

The UNESCO Prize that bears his name is another contribution to the promotion of Latin American younger generations’ work in the field of social sciences.



In conformity with Statutes, which stipulates that the Jury shall consist of three independent members, of different nationalities and gender, appointed by the Director-General for a period of six years renewable, the following three members have been appointed:

Mr Juan Luis Cebrián. Journalist, writer and scholar, born in Madrid, Spain in 1944. He studied humanities at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid and graduated in the Official School of Journalism in Spain. He was founding Director of the newspaper El País, which he headed from 1976 to 1988. Since then, he is Member of the board of Grupo PRISA and of its newspaper and Vice president of the Spanish Society of Radio and TV PRISA. From 2008, he is also Chief executive of the group. In April 2011, he took over as CEO and Delegate of the press area and adviser of El País.

Mr Rolando Cordera. Born in Manzanillo, Mexico in 1942. Economist at the UNAM University and Master in Economics from the LSE, England. He was Member of the Board of Government of the UNAM and Deputy Federal of the former Partido Socialista Unificado de México. He is currently Executive Director of Negotiating and Agreement Building of Congress. Mr Cordera is also Counselor of the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City, Member of the Institute for the Study of Democratic Transition and the Mexican Academy of Economics, Member of the editorial board of the magazine Nexos and writer for the newspaper La Jornada.

Ms Saskia Sassen. Born in The Hague, Netherlands, in 1949, and grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a sociologist noted for her analyses of globalization and international human migration. After being a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, she held various academic positions such as Sociology Chair at the University of Chicago. She is currently Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Centennial Visiting Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics. During the 1990s, Sassen emerged as a prolific author in urban sociology.



Pedro Manuel Monreal Gonzalez
Executive Secretary
UNESCO/Juan Bosch Prize
UNESCO - Social and Human Sciences Sector
7 place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP FRANCE
Tel.: + 33 1 45 68 14 21
E-mail: pm.monreal-gonzalez(at) /