UCL Institute of the Americas


Pablo Uchoa

Chavismo and civil-military relations in Venezuela

Chavismo and civil-military relations in Venezuela


Dr Vinicius de Carvalho SFHEA (Vice-Dean (International), Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy, King's College London; Honorary Senior Research Fellow, UCL)

In my research, I analyse the relationship between civilians and the military in Venezuela since the rise of chavismo, using the most relevant, sometimes competing, theoretical models to explain civil-military (C-M) relations. I concentrate on attempts to shift the Venezuelan armed forces from a liberal, Western-inspired C-M model prior to chavismo to a Bolivarian model after 1999. As a result of this work, I aim to shed light on the ways the military has been transformed in Venezuela as a result of two decades of changes pursued internally by chavismo and externally by political actors who are rivals of chavismo, and the implications of these changes for the relationship between armed forces, state and society.

Chavismo has long been one of my main areas of interest, and I have developed researched on it both as an undergraduate and a Masters’ student. I am the author of 'Venezuela: A Encruzilhada de Hugo Chávez' (Globo, São Paulo, 2003), one of the first books in Brazil to explore the subject, for which I received honorary mention at the Vladimir Herzog award for human rights. I live in London since 2005, having worked as a journalist for the BBC for 16 years, including as Washington correspondent, BBC Brasil reporter, BBC World News producer and BBC World Service writer. I contribute regularly with Jane’s Defence and Intelligence Review and I am a freelance bilingual editor for the World Economic Forum. 

My research is funded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP). Between April and September 2023, I will be a British Research Council visiting scholar at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in Washington-DC.