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Dr. Edgar Zavala Pelayo

Portrait Edgar Zavala Pelayo

Freie Universität Berlin

Center for Area Studies


Postdoctoral Fellow

Edgar Zavala Pelayo studied Industrial Relations at the University of Guanajuato, México. By the end of his undergraduate studies he moved to Universidad Pública de Navarra, Spain (2005-2006) where he attended Sociology courses and conducted a small research project to earn his Bachelor’s degree back in México (2006). After working for a short period of time in public and private organizations in central México, he began his postgraduate training as social researcher in the United Kingdom. Funded by a full scholarship granted by México’s National Research Council (CONACyT), he received his master (2008) and doctoral degrees (2013) in Sociology from the University of Edinburgh.

He has been invited to give talks and organize workshops in Universidad de Guanajuato (2014, 2008), Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes (2014), Universidad de Celaya (2012), Colegio de Estudios Sociales de Aguascalientes (2010) and Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (2010), México.

He is currently researching the effects of religious cultures and religious beliefs upon the political rationality of young political elites in Mexico. The latter is part of his general research interests, empirical and theoretical, on the postcolonial gaps in contemporary Western-centric paradigms of secularism and (post)modern rationality.

Title of research project:
"Religion and Politics in Mexico: Foucauldian pastoralism/s and the elite political youth"

Focus of research:
An analysis of political youth's rationality/ies and the implicit or explicit presence of Foucauldian pastoralisms beyond Europe.

Christianity and Catholicism in Latin America, colonial Latin America, governmentality, Latin American political youth, pastoralism, pastoral power, political parties, political rationality, religion and politics in Latin America, secularism.

Regional focus:

In Foucault's view one of the genealogical elements of the modern governmentality in Europe is the set of logics and techniques for the governing of individuals and communities crafted and implemented by the Catholic church from the 4th century on -from the pervasive and intimate control of the individual to a constant surveillance of 'the flock' as a whole.

After an exploratory analysis of the religious and political thoughts of young politicians in Mexico, my research is currently aimed at analysing the presence of a Foucauldian pastoralism, or pastoralisms, among young politicians in Mexico. The research includes a genealogical analysis of the pastoralism/s forged and enforced during the (pervasively religious) colonisation of Mexico and an empirical analysis of potential pastoralism/s in the political rationality of high-ranking members of leftist, centrist and rightist political parties' youth wings in Mexico. The project overall seeks to contribute to the discussions on politics and religions in contemporary societies and the debates on modern and progressive rationality/ies.