I work in the Social Sciences faculty of Newcastle University (UK). I arrived here in September 2007 from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, where I worked in the area of cultural studies. My research has focused on the politics of cultural representation in Colombia and has included work on nationalism, class, race and ethnicity, participatory democracy and the media. Much of this has been done from the perspective of discourse analysis but I'm particularly interested in interdisciplinary projects involving historians, anthropologists, sociologists and political analysts. My next research project will be a comparative study of participatory democracy in vulnerable communities in Colombia, Venezuela and Panama. I am, however, interested in comparative studies that deal with the problems inherent in the relationship between community organizations and state institutions in other countries, particularly in South Asia and Africa.