Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

Lecture: "The Myth of Nicaraguan Exceptionalism: Crime, Gangs, and Narco-Trafficking in Post-Cold War Central America"

Tue, October 21, 2014 | Hackett Room, SRH 1.313

4:00 PM

Dennis Rodgers of the University of Glasgow presents a lecture titled "The Myth of Nicaraguan Exceptionalism: Crime, Gangs, and Narco-Trafficking in Post–Cold War Central America." Widely held up as an exception within the current panorama of dystopian violence afflicting contemporary Central America, Nicaragua is often hailed as "the safest country in Latin America." Disparate sources cite less organized gangs ("there are only pandillas, not maras”), "communitarian policing," the belief that "drugs bypass Nicaragua," and the fact that 21st century Sandinista socialism has created extensive social programs as the reasons for this difference. This presentation will debunk these myths and propose an alternative reading of the current political economy of violence in Nicaragua, one that highlights that the country is not the exception that everybody thinks it is, but rather a potential harbinger of a frightening future.

Rodgers is professor of Urban Social and Political Research at the University of Glasgow, UK. A social anthropologist by training, he works on issues relating to urban development, conflict, and violence in Nicaragua, Argentina, and India. Recent publications include the volumes Popular Representations of Development: Insights from Novels, Films, Television, and Social Media (co-edited with David Lewis and Michael Woolcock, Routledge, 2013), and Global Gangs: Street Violence Across the World (co-edited with Jennifer Hazen, University of Minnesota Press, 2014).

For more information, contact Paloma Diaz.

Sponsored by: LLILAS Benson; Lozano Long Chair in Latin American Sociology

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  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    SRH 1.310
    2300 Red River Street D0800
    Austin, Texas 78712