Marcelo Bergman is a Professor of Sociology and Criminology at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) in Argentina and writes on a variety of issues related to crime, public security, illegal drugs and public policies in Latin America. Other areas of research include taxation, compliance and rule of law in the region. Bergman is particularly interested in evidence-based research on criminal justice, citizen security and illegal drug polices in Latin America, with a focus on sound data collection. Over the past two decades, he has dedicated much of his work to developing data sets for the analysis of these social issues.
In addition to his academic writing, Bergman is the founder and director of the research center CELIV and director of the Master’s program in Criminology and Citizen Security at UNTREF. He has led many large data collection projects, including inmate surveys in 14 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, victimizations surveys in Argentina and Mexico and surveys of criminal court cases. In addition, he is currently launching the first longitudinal study on prisoner reentry.
Bergman is the author of four books in English:
Professor Bergman holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego.
My interdisciplinary research focus combines sociology, public policy, economics and law. Over the past 20 years, my work has relied on evidence-based studies, with special attention to the production of new data when there was no information to respond to the research questions. Most of my work is comparative and quantitative, focusing specifically on several Latin American countries, and can be grouped into four lines of research:
Four areas of research are distinguished:
I have directed dozens of original large data collection projects in the field of taxation as well as crime and criminal justice institutions. Below the major projects are listed, including (in some cases) research reports and databases.
Over the past 15 years, I have partnered with several colleagues and organizations to direct many inmate surveys in different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The following is a list of the surveys and the years they were conducted. In those marked with an asterisk, the survey data can be accessed through the link (available September 2019). In all other cases, data can be provided upon request. Several surveys have links or repositories for the reports (mostly in Spanish), either for single countries or a group of countries.
Three large pieces of research are based (at least in part) on these data collections: The UNDP Citizen Security Report (2013) , the IDB Latam report (in progress) the Caribbean report (in progress)
Funding for these projects was provided by the Hewlett Foundation, the MacArthrur Foundation, Open Society, CIDE university in Mexico, UNTREF university in Argentina, the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP), the Comisión Andina de Fomento (CAF), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).
Between 2014-2016, a random sample of 180 files were selected to study the type of criminal cases that district attorneys and courts in the city of Buenos Aires handle on a regular basis. The data sets and questionnaires can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org . The research report (in Spanish) can be downloaded here .
A systematic collection of news about crime from major newspapers in Argentina over a two-year period provides insight into how different crimes are reported. The data sets and questionnaires can be requested from email@example.com . The research report (in Spanish) can be downloaded here .
Data is available upon request.
I have served in many committees, departments, and offices. I list here the last three academic initiatives I am currently serving actively.
This research center founded in 2013 at the University of Tres de Febrero in Argentina specializes in data collection and the analysis of crime and violence topics in the region. For more information see here.
This is the first research oriented graduate program in Argentina and among the first in Latin America that specialized in evidence based research and training in Criminology and Public Safety. For more information see here.
Founding board member
SOCLA began as an initiative of Latin American scholars coordinated by CELIV in 2017. It promotes evidence based research on crime and citizen security issues in the region. For more information see here.
Crime and Public Security
Sociology of Law
Law and Economics
Political Economy and Development
Professor and Director of the Center for the Study of Crime and Insecurity in Latin America.
Professor, Department of Legal Studies.
Lecturer, Department of Sociology.
Ph.D. in Sociology, University of California, San Diego, 2001.
M.A. in Political Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1985.
B.A., double major: Political Science and History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1981.
Drogas Narcotráfico y Poder En América Latina . Fondo de Cultura Económica.(2016).