The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Blanca Larrain

Blanca Larrain

Name: Blanca Larrain
Nationality: Chilean
Key Topics: Participation – Citizenship – Feminism – Social Movement – Social Narratives

Thesis: Reconfiguring the citizen-state relationship with a gender perspective. The political practices of the feminist movement in Chile.

Blanca Larrain is a PhD Candidate at University College of London, UK. She studied psychology at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (2010) followed by a Master in Sociology at Alberto Hurtado University (2014) and an MSc in Social Development Practice at UCL (2018). She has worked as a researcher, consultant, and practitioner, with diverse experience in research, and social intervention, mainly in Chile and Latin America. Additionally, she has teaching experience in Chile and the UK. Her work and research explore participation, citizenship, feminism and social narratives as an identity process. She has worked as a researcher and as a consultant for international organizations, public institutions in Chile, the private sector and NGO/civil society organizations.

Her research investigates the political practices of the current feminists’ movements in Chile and its capacity to reshape and challenge the dominant notions of Citizenship. Understanding citizenship as the relationship between citizens and the state, this research focuses on three political practices that feminists are developing to reshape the role and position of women in Chile, their relationship with the state and therefore the notion of society. The central argument is that the Chilean feminist movements practices represent a case that accounts for a re-definition process of what counts as politics, pointing out a historical gender-blind and limited approximation to the political. In doing this, this research is contributing to the understanding of the process of reshaping the notions of citizenship from a gender perspective.

Globally, we are witnessing an extensive feminist re-articulation. Latin America and Chile have developed its version. In 2018 the so-called “Chilean Feminist May” busted with more than 40 educational institutions in toma (occupation), massive protests against sexual harassment and public denunciations (funas) in social networks. In 2019 and in the context of a national social outbreak, a performance against gender violence and state violence took thousands to the Chilean streets and quickly became a global phenomenon with millions of people performing against violence. In 2020 Chile became the first country in the world that will count on a gender balance democratic assembly for writing a new constitution. These three phenomena give account for different practices of the feminist movements in Chile that are reshaping the role and position of women in society. The analysis is focused on the re-articulation of Chilean feminist collective action and seeks to understand its process of triggering social change, specifically in its political dimension.

Primary supervisor: Julian Walker
Secondary Supervisor: Maxine Molyneux


Academic Journals and Books Chapters

Larrain, B. (2015). The past is useless, of the future we have no knowledge. Acceleration phenomena and the Extension of the Present in Chilean advertising. Cuadernos.Info, (36), 173–189. https://doi.org/10.7764/cdi.36.625

Larrain, B. (2017). Repertorios para la relación de la empresa con el entorno y su justificación. In R. Araya (Ed.), Repertorios y prácticas para la gestión de controversias (pp. 99–120). Santiago: Ediciones Abierta.

Larrain, B., & Vega, D. (2019). Para la constitución, una conversación. Reflexiones e imágenes de la fase de participación del proceso constituyente. La experiencia ciudadana. In R. Araya (Ed.), Doscientas mil voces (pp. 115–170). Santiago: Ediciones Abierta.


Policy Brief

Larrain, B. (2019). Social Production of Habitat as a tool for advocacy in an African context? The case of Mashimoni, Nairobi. DPU MSc Dissertation Policy Brief.


Academic Reports

Abraham, Z., Larrain, B., Li, Q., Osbourne, D., Schmidt, A., & Wride, E. (2019). Housing and Income Generation Activities in Salvador. In A. Fernandes, A. A. Frediani, & F. Risi (Eds.), Bridging Local Collective Practices towards a Platform for the Right to the City in Salvador, Bahia (DPU & Luga, pp. 63–74). London, Salvador Bahia. Retrieved from https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/development/sites/bartlett/files/salvadorreport_v.4.pdf

Larrain, B., Li, Q., Marambio, J., Paredes, A., Sanchez, G., Tan, A., … Zhang, Y. (2018). City and Islington College. In S. Butcher, A. A. Frediani, & F. Risi (Eds.), Our Homes, Our Schools: How Housing Affects Young People’s Learning Capabilities (DPU & Citizens UK). London: DPU Student Report.