Rafael Hernández Westpfahl

Rafael Hernández Westpfahl is a doctoral student at the HCIAS and the Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences and a member of the HCIAS Doctoral Research Group “Communication and Society in Ibero-America”. He is a scholarship holder of the Landesgraduiertenförderungsprogramm of the state of Baden-Württemberg.

Rafael studied sociology and anthropology in Frankfurt am Main. During two stays in Mexico (Chiapas and Chihuahua) he worked in the field of human rights and gained insights into the socio-political structures of the country. He completed his master's degree in Freiburg in political science with a focus on (forced) displacement, postcolonial studies, poststructuralism, civil society organizations, social movements, and discourse analysis.

In his Ph.D. project, Rafael is concerned with the growing role of so-called “green” minerals against the background of the global energy transition. From a political ecology perspective, he is interested in whether and if so in which ways the extraction of such resources like lithium, copper, or silver in Mexico reinforce already existing socioecological conflicts and contestation of mining projects. Rafael’s thesis is supervised by HCIAS Jun.-Prof. Dr. Rosa Lehmann.

Doctoral Research Group Communication and Society in Ibero-America

Rafael Hernández Westpfahl


Rafael Hernández Westpfahl

Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies | HCIAS
Brunnengasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg

Email: rafael.hernandez_westpfahl(at)uni-heidelberg.de