Rebecca Hanson Talk

Event Start Date: March 13, 2017 10:00 AM
Event End Date: March 13, 2017 11:30 AM

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"Una Revolución Pacífica Pero Armada: Police Violence and Contemporary Governance in Venezuela"
201A Criser Hall (LVV Room)

The police have long been theorized as the center, backbone, or nervous system of the modern state. This position legitimizes police violence, a predominant expression of state control and social order in domestic territories. However, in parts of Latin America new arrangements of governance have destabilized the police’s position within the state. In the case of Venezuela, relationships between state actors and armed revolutionary grassroots organizations have altered the police’s relationship to the government and further delegitimized their role as enforcers of social order. During this presentation, I show that, in this context, police violence can only be understood by taking into account vulnerabilities and insecurity produced by contemporary police-state relations and by decoupling police violence from expressions of state control. Contemporary arrangements of governance in parts of Latin America require that we alter theories of the state and the police, as well as the extent to which democratic police reform is feasible.