Senior Fellow and Founding Member of CIAPA Dies

By Constantino Urcuyo.

Rodolfo Cerdas was a founding member of CIAPA, the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research’s counterpart in Costa Rica. A man of action and reflection, he was equally at ease in political practice and academia.

Founder of a political party and a deputy in the National Assembly, during the 1970s he defended the notion of a Costa Rican development style, based on national strengths and free from the influence of foreign powers.

As a columnist he had a profound influence on Costa Rican public debates through Ojo Crítico, his weekly column in “La Nación”.

He studied law at the University of Costa Rica and philosophy in the former Soviet Union. He later obtained a doctorate in political sociology from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. He was the director of the School of Political Science at the University of Costa Rica, and taught at Oxford and Cambridge, where he held the Simón Bolivar chair for a year.

Cerdas’ work is centered on the analysis of the Costa Rican state, political parties, Central American integration, national identity, and the history of the communist international movement. He published more than a dozen books and hundreds of academic and general press articles.

As a founding member of CIAPA, he made the Center the locus of his academic and research activities for over thirty years.