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Dr. Julián Cárdenas

foto_julian cardenas


Julián Cárdenas is PhD and graduate in Sociology, University of Barcelona. He joins Freie Universität Berlin to conduct a research project about the interconnections among Latin American corporate elites in order to inquiry who rule Latin America. Julián is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Antioquia in Colombia, where he teaches quantitative research methods, economic sociology, managerial skills and network analysis. He is also a consultant at the Institute of Network Analysis www.analisisderedes.com. Before, he was a lecturer professor at University of Barcelona, and a postdoctoral researcher at IESE Business School. His main fields of interest are elites, social capital, entrepreneurship and research methods such as network analysis and fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis. He belongs to Networks and Social Actors Research Group, Studies of Power and Privilege Research Group, and Politics and Interlocking Directorates Community Research.

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Focus of Research

Social networks analysis, quantitative research methods, multivariate data analysis, fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), economic sociology, social capital, organizations, elites


Postdoctoral Research Project

Networks, Operations and Impacts of Corporate Elites in Latin America

Business or corporate groups – set of corporations of diversified sectors bounded together by formal and informal ways – have historically dominated Latin American economies. Grupo Empresarial Antioqueño and Ardilla Lulle in Colombia, Luksic and Falabella in Chile, Carso and Cemex in México, Vale and Votorantim in Brasil, Techint and Arcor in Argentina, Romero in Perú are examples of large business groups in Latin American nations. However, economic internationalization, political integration of Latin American countries, and global financial crisis have triggered questions about the emergence of a transnational business community, the future of national business groups, and the impacts of corporate elite networks.

The present research project pretends to study the networks, operations and impacts of Latin America corporate elites. We analyze corporate elite structures (inter-corporate networks), political, cultural and social memberships of corporate elite (out-of-business networks), and the consequences of the corporate elite networks in the political and knowledge systems (impacts of networks). First, we select the largest corporations of the major Latin American economies to identify corporate elites and analyze their corporate networks; then we study the social, cultural and political memberships to understand the operations of corporate elites; and finally we evaluate the impacts of corporate elite networks on the political and knowledge systems. We employ social network analysis to map corporate elite networks, and fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis to study the impacts of corporate elite networks. Results will generate suitable descriptions and explanations of power structures, operations of corporate elites to exercise power, impacts of power structures, and suggestions to Latin American development from an elite approach.

“The Varieties of Corporate Networks. Identifying Causal Conditions using Fuzzy Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA)”; invited to revise and resubmit to International Journal of Comparative Sociology

“Networks of Large Owners in Europe” (with Rodríguez, Josep A.). Invited to revise and resubmit to International Journal of Comparative Sociology

(2012) “La Organización en Red del Poder Corporativo: Una Tipología de Redes Corporativas” [Network Organization of Corporate Power: A Typology of Corporate Networks]. Revista Internacional de Sociología. Accepted manuscript.doi: 10.3989/ris.2010.09.04. ISSN: 0034-9712

(2011) “Redes entre Grandes Empresas” [Networks among Large Corporations]. In Memorias Simposio Internacional de Investigadores en Ciencias Sociales, pp. 49-54. Medellín: Centro de Estudios de Opinión. ISBN: 978-958-8709-46-8

(2008) “World Economic Power”. Revista Ciencia y Excelencia. Campus de Excelencia 2006, p. 102. ISSN 1989-2721

(2006) “Qui Domina el Món? El Poder Econòmic Transnacional i el Poder Financer” [Who Rule the World? The Transnational Economic Power and the Financial Power]. Revista Catalana de Sociología 21, pp. 43-76. ISSN: 1136-8527

(2006) “La Visualización de los Interlocks Globales” [The Visualization of Global Interlocks] In Rodríguez, J. A. (ed) Sociología para el Futuro, pp. 61-92. Barcelona: Icaria. ISBN: 84-7426-874-5

(2006) “Redes de Poder Económico en Europa” [Networks of Economic Power in Europe] (with Rodríguez, Josep A. and Oltra, Christian). Sistema. Núm.194: pp 3-44. ISSN: 0210-0223

(2004) “Xarxes Socials entre Universitaris” [Social Networks among University Students] (with Oltra, Christian y Costa, Silvia). Àgora  d‘Infermeria. Núm. 29, Vol. 8 (1). ISSN: 1575-7668


Working Papers

“Towards a Typology of Social Entrepreneurship: characterizing different forms of entrepreneuring aimed to generate social change” (with Mair, Johanna and Battilana, Julie).

“Elite Networks and Knowledge Transfer” (with Vélez Cuartas, G.)

“Struggles for Power: International Takeover bids, Mergers and Acquisitions from Social Networks Approach” (with Rodríguez, Josep A.)

“Social Capital and Social Movements”

“Networks among Colombian Elites”

“Detecting Communities within World Corporate Networks”

Sociology of Economic Power: A Network Analysis (Book)


  • Soziale Netzwerkanalyse, quantitative Sozialforschung, multivariate Datenanalyse, fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA),
  • Wirtschaftssoziologie, Sozialkapital, Organisationen, Eliten