Research Seminar: The Brazilian Crisis and Rethinking Future Security Policy

Professor Giuseppe Cocco, political theorist and Professor at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) joins us to lead this seminar on 'The Brazilian Crisis and Rethinking Future Security

After the dramatic worsening of the Brazilian crisis the failure of the state of Rio de Janeiro, it seems unthinkable to consider public policy and even more difficult to consider a new wave of social investment, in terms of a politics of rights and security. In the context of the crisis, the only rule is generalised austerity in the face of the huge increase in violence and its complexity. And the crisis is deepening, in particular in relation to security, where its effects are concentrated to produce a shocking landscape of both in terms of dramatic events such as atrocities committed in prisons and its structural trends such as the massive increase in incarceration, and number of homicides.

The reality produced by a long cycle of investment is in some senses worse than it was 10 or 15 years ago. The case of Rio de Janeiro is one of the most severe where the security policies of the state and the state itself have failed, reinforcing and muliplying one another. The small gains, the big expectations and the significant investments in the policy of pacification have collapsed. The prediction for 2017 is that Brazil and Rio will continue on this trajectory for some time. It is worth noting that Brazil is listed as the third most violent country in the world, with over 55,000 homicides annually. It also has the third highest concentration of prison population in the world, following China and the US.

Against this dramatic background, this paper will reflect on the themes of security and democracy in three ways. First it will consider the specific discussion of 'pacification' of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Second, it will present a theoretical consideration of the field of pro-poor growth, between contemporary capitalism and organised crime. And, third, it will reflect on the productive mobilisation of these territories as an alternative basis for a different type of security policy.

All welcome, booking not required.

Professor Cocco is also joining us earlier in the day to lead workshop 'Writing as an Interdisciplinary Research Process'.


Professor Giuseppe Cocco obtained his Doctorate in Social History at Université de Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) (1993).He is part of the Multitudes collective in France and he is an editor of the social and political theory journal Lugar Comum in Brazil. He is also one of the founders of Universidade Nômade Brasil, a platform for analysis of the contemporary political context by political theorists, social theorists and philosophers. He co-authored a book with Antonio Negri, GlobAL: Biopoder e lutas em uma América Latina Globalizada (2005).  Two of his recent books are: Mundobraz: o devir-Brasil do mundo e o devir-mundo do Brasil (Record, 2009); andKorpoBraz:Por uma política dos corpos (Mauad X, 2014).

Location Details

Social Sciences Building
University of Leeds

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