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Guest Lecture by Prof. Enrique Desmond Arias on Criminal Organizations in Latin America

Enrique Desmond Arias

Enrique Desmond Arias

During a one-month research visit to the SFB 700, Prof. Enrique Desmond Arias from George Mason University gave a public lecture here on August 12, 2015.

News from Aug 24, 2015

The lecture looked at “Criminal Organizations and Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean” and drew on Prof. Arias’s forthcoming book, “Criminal Politics: Illicit Activities and Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean.” The presentation examined the influence of armed actors and groups on local politics in two neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Medellín (Columbia), and Kingston (Jamaica), respectively. Prof. Arias began by discussing the historical dimensions of the criminal structures, before using comparative studies to analyze the current dynamics of violence in the various neighborhoods. In the lecture, he criticized research on violence and governance in Latin America that he considers too one-dimensional. As a solution, he suggested the concept of “criminal governance,” which concentrates on the social and historical roots of criminal structures and their relationship to the state or to state actors. The lecture ended with an open discussion.

Prof. Arias is contributing his expertise and many years of experience to the research project C3 “Police-Building and Transnational Security Fields in Latin America” until the end of August. Many thanks to Prof. Arias for his lecture! We look forward very much to the publication of his book.

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