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Citizen Participation in Contexts of Crime-Related Violence and Institutional Fragility

November 22, 2018 November 23, 2018

ESRC-funded Workshop hosted by the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law (CISRUL) at the University of Aberdeen

Thursday 22nd November, 2018

The aim of the workshop was to present research on citizen participation within regions characterized by violence and fragile institutions, especially where related to organized crime.

Researchers and policy-makers have called for “citizen participation” or “civil society” to help address issues of crime-related violence and institutional fragility. Yet it is not clear what scope there is for citizens and civil society to play a role, especially from within the most affected contexts. Although there are now literatures on criminal organisation, political corruption and related violence, as well as on state initiatives and on the role of national and international Civil Society Organizations, there was little research on the role of individuals and organizations within the most violent regions.

The workshop included research from Italy, Libya and Brazil, but focused on research on Mexico, where a government offensive launched in 2007 led to a decade of extraordinary violence. There were presentations from the team of the ongoing “Activism in Violent Regions” project, and Professor Jenny Pearce also presented the findings of the “Co-Constructing Security Provision in Mexico” project.


9                           Welcome and introduction (Trevor Stack)

Citizen participation in contexts of crime-related violence

Chair: Pilar Domingo (ODI)

9.30                     Baris Cayli (Derby) on the anti-mafia movement in S. Italy

10.05                   Sasha Jesperson (St Mary’s Twickenham) on anti-people trafficking in Libya

10.40                   Carolina Maurity Frossard (UVA) on security-focused neighbourhood groups in Brazil

11.15                   Jenny Pearce (LSE) “Co-Constructing Security Provision in Mexico

11.50                   Tea/coffee/snacks break

“Activism in Violent Regions” project

Chair: Sasha Jesperson (St Mary’s, AKTIS Strategy)

12.10                   Introduction to “Activism in Violent Regions” project

12.20                   Citizen security councils (Irene Álvarez, Denisse Román and Trevor Stack)

12.55                   Cultural activism (Edgar Guerra and Ariadna Sánchez)

1.30                     Sandwich lunch will be provided

2.20                     Legal activism (Iran Guerrero and Salvador Maldonado)

2.55                     Church-linked initiatives (Trevor Stack)

Armed Self-Defence Groups in Michoacán, Mexico

Chair: Edgar Guerra (CIDE)

3.30                     Irene Álvarez and Denisse Román (Activism in Violent Regions project)

3.45                     Alexander Curry (SAS)

4.00                     Romain LaCour Grandmaison (Paris)

4.15                     Discussion

4.55                     Break

Concluding session

Chair: Trevor Stack (Aberdeen)

5.15                     Workshop discussants:

5.45                     Open discussion

6.30                     End of workshop


The support of the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) is gratefully acknowledged.


November 22, 2018
November 23, 2018
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Trevor Stack

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