Victor Perez-Diaz


  • Doctor in Sociology from Harvard University, and doctor in Law and Political Science from the Complutense University of Madrid, Víctor Pérez-Díaz (Madrid, 1938) has been a professor of Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid since 1980. Throughout Over the last 50 years, Pérez-Díaz has gathered academic and professional merits in the disciplines of sociology, political science and economics that credit him as one of the great Spanish figures of contemporary social sciences.
  • He has directed and coordinated some of the most important study services and social research institutes in Spain, such as the social sciences departments of the National Institute of Industry (1979) and the FIES Foundation (1986), and the Center for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (CEACS) of the Juan March Institute of Studies and Research (1987-1992). In these institutions, Pérez-Díaz has carried out training for social science professionals, and the production and dissemination of research aimed at the analysis of Spanish society and politics, with the aim of promoting informed public debate on the issues that most interest the citizens of today's democracies.
  • He has developed his teaching and research activity as a visiting professor in different departments of Political Science, Sociology and History of American and European universities, such as the University of San Diego California (1983, 1987, 1991, 1992 and 1993), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1989 and 1990), Harvard University (1992), the Institut des Sciences Politiques de Paris (1995), New York University (2000) and the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (2005). Through these stays, in which he has combined teaching and research, he has contributed decisively to establishing academic links with leading university institutions and social scientists in the United States and Europe. By virtue of this contribution and his research contributions, he is a founding member of the Academia Europaea (since 1988) and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 2006).
  • He has acted as an expert advisor at the request of public and private institutions. Thus, for example, Pérez-Díaz participated in the first and second Corporate Governance Commissions and, more recently, has chaired the Committee of Experts on the Sustainability Factor of the Public Pension System. His participation in these commissions has been reflected in various key reports for the discussion and adoption of political decisions, among them, the so-called “Code of Good Government: Olivencia Report” (1998) and “Code Aldama” (2003), as well as the “Report on the sustainability factor of the public pension system” (2013).
  • Víctor Pérez-Díaz's academic curriculum highlights the respect and recognition he commands in national and international, public and private institutions. To the merits of research, scientific direction and expert advice already outlined, it is worth adding the direction of more than a dozen doctoral theses by sociologists and political scientists who are currently part of the teaching and research staff of various Spanish and foreign universities.
National Prize for Sociology and Political Science 2014

If intellectual lucidity, prudence in judgment and temperance of spirit are invaluable qualities for an academic in any era, their value grows in times of social unrest and political uncertainty, of which contemporary Spanish history is not lacking, nor is contemporary history. present. Víctor Pérez-Díaz has shown these qualities in over a hundred published texts, as well as in countless public interventions, on practically all dimensions of society. The consistency and continuity of his academic career, and the extensive dissemination of his work in Spain and abroad, have earned him various distinctions in Europe and the United States. The 2014 National Prize for Sociology and Political Science, organized by the Center for Sociological Research, adds to the broad recognition of a teaching and research career, as productive as it is solid, that spans more than half a century.

Those of us who have closely followed the intense intellectual activity of Víctor Pérez-Díaz agree in highlighting the influence of his writings, his classes and his conversation on our way of practicing sociology and understanding society. A sociology committed to understanding problems in all their complexity, which, instead of artificially fragmenting them, places them in broad temporal and spatial frameworks that favor comparisons. And a society of citizens who think and act in accordance with their preferences and interests, but also their cultural values, and who have historically managed to advance through collective learning processes completely unrelated to large political and social engineering projects.

Taking civil society in a broad sense as an analytical and normative reference, as conceived by the enlightened Scots of the 18th century, the sociology of Víctor Pérez-Díaz studies social reality by investigating the motives and experiences of those who shape it, and the meaning that they give to their actions. And it does so not only out of scientific conviction, but also civic conviction: society must be listened to and provided with access to plural and truthful information, enabling it to deliberate and make reasonable decisions, not be protected or subjected to more or less rationalist plans. well-intentioned members of “the elites of the day,” as he often calls them. Only elites as aware of their own limits as of the fragility and contingency of democracy, who feel part of civil society and not bearers of a moral project above it, deserve the respect and support of citizens.

Through the publication of his reflections and analysis, his genuine willingness to talk and debate, Víctor Pérez-Díaz has managed to create and consolidate over the last decades an open intellectual community, made up of his students, his colleagues and friends. , who share the interest in reasoning and debating public affairs with freedom, honesty and confidence, orienting themselves towards the search for a truth that is more provisional than conclusive, always irreducible to mottos and slogans. In a country like ours, this is a rare achievement. For this reason, Víctor Pérez-Díaz deserves specific gratitude, which is added to that which arouses all the biographical effort and humanistic commitment put into developing his thinking, constructing his arguments, and teaching and disseminating the results of his research. Thank you Victor.