Gabriel Suchodolski

Gabriel Suchodolski

Graduate Student

Office: 289 Haines Hall


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I’m a PhD Candidate currently working on four projects that analyze how human agency relates to social structures, development trajectories, and the environment.

First, in a paper on clientelism and contentious politics, I show that clients lead collective action but produce conflict and social fragmentation that maintain social hierarchy and sources for further patronage—in what I call ‘contentious client’ cycles of social change without transformation.

Second, my dissertation investigates land policy implementation in Brazil and India using comparative-historical and mixed methods to analyze why weak state bureaucracies succeed or fail at efforts to establish clear land property rights (land titles).

Third, based on a decade-long ethnographic engagement in the Amazon region, I explore the social and political basis of deforestation and alternative climate futures.

Fourth, as a Luskin Center on Policy and History research project grantee (with Prof. Susanna Hecht), I’m exploring the politics, policy, and environmental history of regional planning and infrastructural development in the western Amazonian frontier.

Previously at UCLA, I helped to build a global policy database on vulnerable worker’s rights as a Hilton Scholar at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center.

I’ve taught my own UCLA course on Political Sociology during the summer session of 2022! I have been a teaching assistant to courses on social theory, political sociology, international development, and research methods.


  • MA Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles – 2017
  • MA Anthropology, Columbia University – 2014
  • MA Sociology, University of Rio de Janeiro State – 2011
  • BA International Relations, University of Sao Paulo – 2008

Fields of Study

Political Sociology; Development & Social Change; Comparative-Historical Sociology; Ethnography; Environment & Land; Public Policy; Brazil & India; Amazonia.

Awards & Grants

  • 2022 UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy Research Grant (with Susanna Hecht).
  • 2021 SSRC Summer Institutes in Computational Social Science Research Grant.
  • 2020 UCLA CISA Sambhi Summer Graduate Student Research Fellowship Award (declined).
  • 2019-2020 UCLA International Institute Dissertation Fieldwork Fellowship.
  • 2019 UCLA Hiroshi Wagatsuma Graduate Fellowship.
  • 2019 UCLA CISA Sambhi Summer Graduate Student Research Fellowship Award.
  • 2019 UCLA Sociology Department Summer Funding.
  • 2018 UCLA Latin American Institute-Tinker Summer Research Grant.
  • 2018 UCLA Canadian Studies Grant
  •  2017-2019 Hilton Scholar Award and Fellowship – WORLD Policy Analysis Center.
  • 2016- Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin Working Group Grant.
  • 2016 UCLA Latin American Institute Summer Research Grant.
  • 2015-2017 UCLA Graduate Dean’s Scholar Award and Fellowship.
  • 2010 FAPERJ Nota 10, Award/Fellowship for students with the highest marks, Foundation for Research Support of the State of Rio de Janeiro.
  • 2009 CNPq Fellowship, Brazilian National Council of Scientific and Technological Development.


Rebecca Emigh and Kevan Harris