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Luciana de Souza Leão

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Luciana de Souza Leão is an assistant professor in the sociology department at U-M. She is a political and comparative sociologist with broad interests in knowledge-making processes, social inequalities, and the state. Her three main areas of research are: 1) investigating the critical role policy knowledge plays in shaping how states design, implement, and evaluate social policies; 2) examining the enduring effects that state institutions have on the reproduction of inequalities; and 3) racial inequality as both an ideological construction and a realm of action. Across all her research, de Souza Leão draws on a wide array of methods, from in-depth interviews and archival work to statistical analysis of longitudinal national surveys.

Her most recent work has appeared in the American Journal of Economics, British Journal of SociologyEthnic and Racial Studies, Historical Social Research, International Journal of Sociology, Theory and Society, and World Development, among others. She is currently working on a book project, Experimenting on the Poor: Knowledge, Power and Cash Transfers in Latin America, which examines how politics, measurement practices, and expertise shape anti-poverty programs in Brazil and Mexico. Her work has received awards from ASA’s Comparative Historical Sociology, Sociology of Development and Science, Knowledge and Technology sections, as well LASA’s Brazil section

PhD, Columbia University; MA, Federal University of Rio de Janiero; and BA, Puc-Rio.