Organized Violence and State Failure in Latin America
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Armed Actors by Kees Koonings
Book DescriptionIn this volume, Latin Americanist scholars explore the recent evidence relating to the ways in which partial state failure in the continent is interacting with new types of organized violence, thereby undermining the process of democratic consolidation that has characterized Latin America over the past two decades. This 'new violence' stems - as this book's case studies from Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil and other countries, including El Salvador, show - from a heterogeneous variety of social actors including drug mafias, peasant militias and urban gangs (collectively referred to as actores armadas), as well as state-related actors like the police, military intelligence agencies and paramilitary forces. These armed actors are reproducing organized social and political violence beyond the confines of democratic politics and civil society. The results, as the authors warn, include both 'governance voids' - domains where the legitimate state is effectively absent in the face of armed actors prevailing by force - and an erosion of the capacity and willingness of state officials themselves to abide by the rule of law. These tendencies, in turn, pave the way for a possible reinstallation of authoritarian regimes under the control of politicized armies or, at the very least, the spread of state violence in one form or another. Why these tendencies need to be taken so seriously is, the authors argue, because of the deeper social roots underlying them - notably the failure of neoliberal economic policies and weakened state structures to deliver the jobs, standards of living and social services every democratic citizenry has a right to expect. The Argentinian collapse and persistent Colombian and Venezuelan crises receive special attention in this regard.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781842774458
(234mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Imprint: Zed Books Ltd
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Kees Koonings
Violence and Resilience in Latin American Cities, Paperback (November 2015)
Featuring original fieldwork across a broad array of case studies, this cutting edge volume focuses on questions not only of crime and insecurity, but also of Latin American cities' ability to creatively and productively respond to these problems.
Brazil Under the Worker's Party, Hardback (October 2014)
This edited collection interprets and assesses the transformation of Brazil under the Workers' Party. It addresses the extent of the changes the Workers' Party has brought about and examines how successful these have been, as well as how continuity and social change in Brazil have affected key domains of economy, society, and politics.
Megacities, Hardback (November 2009)
'Megacities' around the world are becoming the scene for deprivation and exclusion. This book examines world-wide trends in poverty, social exclusion, and urban violence.
Fractured Cities, Paperback (November 2006)» View all books by Kees Koonings
As cities sprawl across Latin America, absorbing more and more of its people, crime and violence have become inescapable. Based on empirical evidence, interviews with local people and historical contextualization, the authors attempt to shed light on the fault-lines which have appeared in Latin American society.
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Author Biography - Kees Koonings
Kees Koonings is Associate Professor of Development Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Utrecht University. He is the author of books and articles on development issues, ethnicity, and militarism and violence in Latin America. Dirk Kruijt is Professor of Development Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Utrecht University. He published about poverty and informality, military governments, and war and peace in Latin America.
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