The LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre (LACC), the Department of International Relations at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP), and the Department of Political Science at UNICAMP held a workshop on Governance, Crime and International Security at PUC-SP, from 23 - 27 September 2019.
This event was funded by the British Council and FAPESP, and chaired by professors Sebastao Velasco e Cruz, Paulo Pereira, and Gareth Jones (Director of LACC). The workshop also drew on various other members from the Brazil Research Group on Conflict (GECI) and the Violence, Security and Peace (VSP) Network.
LACC Research Staff, Alexandra Abello Colak and Jenny Pearce, as well as LACC Visiting Fellows, Adam Baird, Maria Cecilia Dedios, Erin McFee, and Sonja Wolf, attended the workshop.
Crime and violence are major concerns for policymakers, institutions, and everyday citizens across Brazil and the region. Robbery, extortion, mugging, assault, and the threat of lethal violence are a part of daily life, with profound implications for economic activity, investment, institutional legitimacy, mobilities, and social cohesion.
Markets for contraband, drugs, weapons, and even human beings are embedded in social and political systems, yet they are also highly adaptable to the emergence of new products and criminal actors, whether in response to transnational processes or legal and policy reforms. State policies and practices are widely considered to be ineffective, being overly reliant on mass incarceration, excessive force, and collusion.
The workshop introduced early career researchers and PhD students to research on governance and security, using São Paulo as a laboratory to explore the institutional setting of Brazil. Participants examined the latest research, methods, and policy innovations through site visits and stakeholder engagement, including with actors from the state (criminal justice, security agencies), civil society, and the private sector.
They purpose was to test evidence for effectiveness, innovation, and transferability of public policies and civil-society interventions, as well as consider how those populations most affected by crime and insecurity can be transformed to improve social and economic wellbeing.
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