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LUCIR Lecture: Inside Gang Governance: How and Why Gangs Rule the Streets of Rio de Janeiro

14 April @ 1:00 pm 3:00 pm

Between violent coercion and responsive governance

For more than four decades, drug trafficking gangs have monopolised violence in hundreds of favelas (informal neighbourhoods) across Rio de Janeiro and replaced state authority with governance forms of their own. Yet these relationships vary considerably across time and space. Some gangs have developed responsive relations with local populations by resolving disputes, stimulating the local economy, and providing various forms of recreation. In other favelas, gangs have engaged in more coercive and violent behaviour while offering residents few benefits. What accounts for this variation?

On April 14 Nicholas Barnes will give a lecture on his research on gangs in Rio de Janerio. Barnes’ research focuses on political and criminal violence, illicit markets, public security, and non-state governance in Latin America. His current book project, ‘How Gangs Govern’ (under contract with Cambridge University Press) examines how drug trafficking gangs relate to favela communities in Rio de Janeiro. Barnes’ research has been funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council’s Drugs, Security and Democracy in Latin America and the International Dissertation Research Fellowships as well as the Department of Education through the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad. 

Leiden University