Aguiar holds a tenured position as assistant professor at Leiden University. He has been distinguished as National Researcher, level I, Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (National Register of Researchers), Consejo Nacional para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (National Council for Science and Technology), Mexico.
As a visiting scholar, Aguiar has spent research stays at desiguALdades program at the Free University of Berlin (2012, 2013), and the Centre for Sociogical Studies, Colegio de México (2015).
From 2011-2013 Aguiar was a councilor member of the Executive Board Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology (SLACA), section of the American Anthropologist Association.
By engaging in anthropological theory and methodologies, Aguiar investigates the legal regime of neoliberalism, and how it creates new definitions of legitimacy and legality. He also looks at forms of capitalism in popular economies, namely the cultural function of copying and reproduction in the digitla era. The main fields of interes are:
Globalisation and street economies;
Piracy, intellectual property and cultural circulations;
Illegality and the formation of urban cultures;
Urban policies, free trade zones, harbors and border cities;
Regimes of legitimacy and legality.
Ongoing research projects
Currently, Aguiar is conducting the following projects:
- 'From Disorder to Order: Counter-Societies and the Resources of Legitimacy': based on a comparative study between Hezbollah in Lebanon, Taliban in Sri Lanka and Mexican drug cartels, this research looks into the definitions of morality and social order emerging from contexts of extreme violence and insecurity. Principles as honor, protection and justice are at stake, as much as the provision of security among other social goods. This project is carried out in collaboration with Prof.dr. Isabelle Duijvenstijn (Leiden University).
- Ethnography of piracy retail in Mexico, with focus on the production and circulation of CDs, DVDs, and ‘fake’ fashion in marketplaces and street vending.
At BA level:
'The City in Latin America', Latin American Studies.
'Culture and Identity in Latin America', International Studies.
At MA level:
'Cultures of Crime: Identity, Protection and the Rule of Law in a Global World', International Relations.
'Neoliberalism and Illegality: Flows, Commodities, Locations', International Relations.