From social movements to radical democratisation of municipalities

From social movements to radical democratization of municipalities

The Universidad Abierta of Recoleta and the Transnational Institute (TNI) present the fourth course of the International Diploma in Transformative Local Governments, which is called From Social Movements to Radical Democratization of Municipalities.

The democratization of the municipality is an essential step for local transformation: they favor citizen participation, better channel citizen demands and needs, but above all, they achieve participation in a context of crisis that requires the involvement of all sectors in pursuit of to advance rights and improve social services.

Those who participate in this course will have relevant and useful information to participate in the local politics of their municipalities. To do this, you will have the experience and knowledge of international experts who will provide tools aimed at each participant’s reflection on their own local reality.

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What you will learn

You will reflect on the possibilities, opportunities and challenges of local government, particularly on the possible tensions that the institutional logic faces with the political dynamics of destituent social mobilisations.


Aimed at public servants at the local level, as well as members of political parties, academics, and people in general interested in participating in municipal politics.

Agent of change

The Digital Courses (DC) of the Universidad Abierta of Recoleta emphasise the construction of knowledge in order to generate a social transformation. To achieve this, it promotes as a methodological resource the active involvement of the participants within their communities.

Certification and free-of-charge

The course will be certified by all parties involved in the development of this course, as long as the approval requirements are met. There is no cost of any kind for the participants.

Application starting date
Tuesday, October 18th
Enrolment due date
Wednesday, January 18th 2023 up to 23:59 Chile time.
Minimum quota
100 participants
Course starting date
Thursday, January 5th at 17:00 Chile time. You can enroll in the course up to 2 weeks after classes begin.
Course duration
5 weeks
Expected time by week demanded
6 hours
Day and time of the synchronous session
Tuesday, December 13th at 16:00 Chile time.
Synchronous class duration
90 minutes
UAR Digital

Teachers and experts


He mixes academic and political activities. He published a book of essays in 1999 (Filosofía y Acción, Editorialímite, Santander). He has been involved in the publisher Acuarela Libros since its foundation 10 years ago. Acuarela has been one of the first publishers to systematically protect its books with Creative Commons licenses, with very positive results at all levels. In recent years, he has co-directed the magazine Archipiélago and has actively participated in several social movements (student, anti-globalisation, copyleft, no to war, V for Housing...). He is co-author of a book on the experience of the Red Ciudadana after 11-M (Acuarela Libros A. Machado, Madrid, 2008). He has recently published 'Inhabit and govern; inspirations for a new political conception' (Ned editions, 2020) and 'The strength of the weak; essay on political efficacy’.


Aguilar Villanueva has a Spanish actor, singer, screenwriter, cultural manager and politician. He is a member of the musical duo Rojo Cancionero and Banderas Rotas, dedicated to protest songs. For three years he was a scriptwriter for the radio program ‘Raw meat’ on the Radio 3 station. He has been a councilor of the Móstoles City Council since 2015. Between 2016 and 2019, he held the second tenure of Mayor and the Government Area of ​​Culture, Social Welfare and Housing.


Doctor in Political, Economic and Commercial Sciences, after the defense of the Thesis in the Faculty of Political Studies and Sociology, (date 28-4-1982, qualification "Outstanding cum laude") of the Complutense University of Madrid. Honorary Professor of the Faculty of Politics and Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid, with extensive teaching experience at universities in Mexico, Spain, Chile, Italy, Brazil, Venezuela, among others. Co-founder of CIMAS (International Observatory of Sustainable Citizenship and Environment), Co-founder of the CREASVI Foundation (Social Creativity for Better Living) and Co-founder of the Red Sentipensante (GT of CLACSO Participatory Processes and Methodologies). Author of several books, of which the following stand out: “The participative democracies. From citizen participation to alternatives to society” (1995) and “Transforming Democracies. Emerging and alternative experiences from the commons” (2017).


Valparaíso-born and raised in Cerro Placeres, Chile. Current Regional Counselor of the Frente Amplio for Valparaíso, Casablanca and Juan Fernández. She was re-elected for the position in the period 2022-2026, being the first provincial majority in Valparaíso. She is the director of the Fundación Territorios Colectivos and creator of the "Cities with Lenses of Women" project.


Architect and sociologist from the University of Chile. Degree in Total Quality Management from the Universidad Católica del Norte, Master in Urban Planning and Specialist in Social Housing, also from the University of Chile. In addition, he is an Accredited Consultant of the Municipal Services Accreditation System for the implementation in the municipalities of the Quality Management Model for Municipal Services. He is currently the mayor of the commune of Recoleta, Chile.


Spanish political scientist, politician and professor, former secretary of the Constituent Process and Podemos Program. His postgraduate studies were carried out under the direction of political scientist Klaus von Beyme between 1989 and 1992 at the University of Heidelberg (Germany). His doctoral thesis, Causes of the dissolution of the German Democratic Republic. The absence of legitimacy: 1949-1989, was read at the UCM in 1996 with the qualification Outstanding Cum Laude. He has also collaborated in various media, both print and television, and currently presents the political debate program En la Frontera on Público TV.


Professor of Democracy and Social Change in the Department of Culture and Education at the University of Aalborg (Denmark). He is also coordinator of the DEMOS research group, specialized in democracy, migration and society. In his research, OGA has analyzed the relations between social movements and institutions, solidarity relations between civil society and migrants and refugees, as well as political phenomena such as nationalism and populism. Among his most recent publications are Solidarity and the 'Refugee Crisis', Left-wing Populism and the Crisis of Sovereignty and Catalan Independence.


Urban planner and activist in the Red and Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), an eco-socialist party in Denmark. Former city councilor in Copenhagen (Denmark) in the area of urban development, energy and environment. He is currently a member of the urban wind cooperatives of Middelgrunden, Prøvestenen and Hvidovre in Copenhagen. Dual PhD student at Roskilde University and Malmö University.


She was a social leader and founder of the neighborhood council of the Ángela Davis neighborhood in Recoleta, president of the Isaac Tapia cultural, social and sports center and of the feminist group Las Pobladoras. She was elected in 2020 by popular vote as Councilwoman for the commune of Recoleta; she chairs the Health and Gender and Dissidence Commission of the municipal council.



Associate Researcher of the Transnational Institute (TNI) for the Transformative Cities award and the Atlas of Utopias. He is the academic coordinator of the International Diploma in Transformative Local Governments UAR-TNI. He is a Doctor in Government and Public Administration, from the Complutense University of Madrid, and has a Master's degree in Development, Innovation and Change, from the University of Bologna, in Italy. He is currently a Visiting Researcher at the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the University of Copenhagen.

Specific learning outcome

Week 1
You will critically analyse a general framework of references and concepts about the importance of the democratisation of local governments and its possible tension with social organisations.
Week 2
You will reflect on the difficulties faced by activists and people unrelated to institutional politics, but who decide to make the leap to local politics in the pursuit of transforming the municipal government.
Week 3
You will learn about experiences of citizen participation with a feminist perspective on local transformation.
Week 4
You will reflect on the future of local government and on a real utopia for the municipality.
Week 5
You will complete the academic (recap and final project) and administrative processes of the course (certification).