Over the last several decades, the emergence of various criminal non-state armed actors (militias, drug-trafficking cartels, youth gangs, prison gangs, smuggling networks and vigilante groups) have brought heightened levels of violence to the Americas and undermined traditional state authority across the region. This mini-conference brings together a group of scholars who are seeking to understand the history, dynamics, and policy implications of this increasingly complicated landscape. We will approach this topic from a diverse set of conceptual and theoretical backgrounds and employ a wide range of methodological approaches. Overall, this conference is designed as an opportunity to accumulate findings, stimulate dialogue in the study of these phenomena, interrogate long-held assumptions, and innovate new strategies and frameworks for investigating violence and criminal actors across the Americas.
Panel 1: 9:00am - 11:00am
Nicholas Barnes, UW-Madison, "The Politics of Violence: How and Why Criminal Violence is Political"
Desmond Arias, George Mason University, "Policy Process Amid Armed Organizations"
Guillermo Trejo, Notre Dame University, "Breaking State Impunity in Post-authoritarian Regimes: Why Transitional Justice Processes Deter Criminal Violence in New Democracies"
Coffee Break: 11:00am-11:15am
Panel 2: 11:15am - 12:45pm
Eduardo Moncada, Barnard College-Columbia University, "Varieties of Vigilantism: Conceptual Discord, Meaning and Strategies"
Michael Weintraub, Binghamton University, (SUNY) "Vigilante Mobilization and Local Order: Evidence from Mexico"
Lunch: 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Panel 3: 1:45pm - 3:45pm
Sarah Daly, Notre Dame University, "Turf War or Truce: Balance of Power, Information Asymmetries, and Bargaining Among Criminal Gangs"
Benjamin Lessing, The University of Chicago, "Legitimate Criminals: How to Build and Empire Behind Bars"
Bradley Holland, The Ohio State University "Stationary Bandits in the Streets: Gangs, Illicit Market Fragmentation, and Social Order in Chicago"
Concluding Remarks and Refreshments: 3:45pm - 4:30pm
Registration & Event Details:
To register, please click HERE.
Lunch will be provided on a first come, first serve basis
This event is free and open to the public.
For more information and any questions please contact Nicholas Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsored by: the Political Science Department, Global Legal Studies Center, the Human Rights Program, and has been generously funded by LACIS and the Anonymous fund.