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Week 9. Democratisation

Week 9. Democratisation: Violence, inequality, migrant rights and children’s rights.

Seminar Questions:

How have the processes of democratisation in Latin America effected human rights discourses of both the state and civil society? Why has democratisation been accompanied by an escalation of violence in some places and how has this effected human rights claims? What effect have indigenous rights movements had on democratisation? What impact does migration have on rights?


Core Readings: 

Read one and something from the further readings that interests you.

John Gledhill, “The Rights of the Rich versus the Rights of the Poor” in Sam Hickley and Diana Mitlin (eds.) Rights-based approaches to development. Stirling VA: Kumarian Press, 2009.


Amy Risley. The Youngest Citizens: Children's Rights in Latin America (1st ed.). London: Routledge, 20019. (Chapters 5 and/or 7)


Further Reading: 


Sonia E. Alvarez, et al (eds.) Beyond Civil Society: Activism, Participation, and Protest in Latin America Duke University Press, 2017.

Desmond Arias and Daniel M. Goldstein (eds.) Violent Democracies in Latin America Durham/London: Duke,2010.

Jason De Leon. The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015.

Javier Ayuero, “The hyper-shantytown: Neo-liberal violence(s) in the Argentine slumEthnography. 1:1 (2000), 93-116.

Brinks, Daniel. The Judicial Response to Police Killings in Latin America: Inequality and the Rule of Law. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Alexandra de Brito, Human Rights and Democratization in Latin America: Uruguay and Chile, Oxford University Press, 1997.

Teresa P.R. Caldeira, ‘The Paradox of Police Violence in Democratic Brazil’ Ethnography. 3:3, 235-263. 2002

Javier Couso, Alex Huneeus and Rachel Sieder (eds.) Cultures of Legality: Judicialization and Political Activism in Latin America Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Enrique Desmond Arias and Daniel M. Goldstein eds. Violent Democracies in Latin America. Duke University Press, 2011.

Tom Farer (ed.) Beyond Sovereignty: Collectively Defending Sovereignty in the Americas. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

Janice Fine and Allison Petrozziello, ‘Haitian Migrant Workers in the Dominican Republic: Organising at the Intersection of Informality and Illegality’, in Adrienne Eaton, Susan Schurman and Martha Chan (eds.), Informal Workers and Collective Action: A Global Perspective, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017.

Brodwyn Fischer, et al. (eds.) Cities from Scratch : Poverty and Informality in Urban Latin America, edited by Brodwyn Fischer, et al., Duke University Press, 2014.

Joe Foweraker, “Grassroots movements and political activism in Latin America: A critical comparison of Chile and Brazil.” Journal of Latin American Studies. 33:4, 839-865.

Juan Pablo Ferrero. Democracy against Neoliberalism in Argentina and Brazil: a move to the left. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Rosa-Linda Fregoso and Cynthia Bejarano, eds. Terrorizing Women: Feminicide in the Américas. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

Paulina García-Del Moral. “Transforming Feminicidio: Framing, Institutionalization and Social Change.” Current Sociology, vol. 64, no. 7, Nov. 2016, p. 1017.

Goldstein, Daniel M. Outlawed: Between Security and Rights in a Bolivian City. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012.

Goodale, Mark, and Sally Engle Merry, editors. The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law between the Global and the Local Cambridge University Press, 2007. (Chapters by Speed, Goodale and Jackson) 

Mark Goodale (ed.) Human Rights at the Crossroads. Oxford University Press USA, 2012.

Frances Hagopian (ed.). Religious Pluralism, Democracy, and the Catholic Church in Latin America, University of Notre Dame Press, 2009. 

Michael Hanchard (ed.), Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil. 1999.

Tobias Hecht, At Home in the Street: street children of Northeast Brazil. 1998.

Kees Koonig, ‘New Violence, Insecurity and the state; Comparative Reflections on Latin America and Mexico’ in Pansters, W G. ed., 2012. Violence, Coercion and State-Making in Twentieth-Century Mexico: The Other Half of the Centaur. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.

Sian Lazar and Maxine Molyneux, Doing the rights thing: Rights-based development and Latin American NGOs. London: ITDG Publishing, 2003.

Viviana Beatriz Macmanus, ‘‘We are not Victims, we are Protagonists of this History’ Latin American Gender Violence and the Limits of Women’s Rights as Human Rights’, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 17:1 (2015), 40-57.

David Lehman (ed.) The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Latin America. London: Palgrave Studies in the Americas, 2019.

Julieta Lemaitre. (2019). "Feminist Legalism: Colombian Constitution-Making in the 1990s." In R. Rubio-Marín & H. Irving (eds.), Women as Constitution-Makers: Case Studies from the New Democratic Era. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019, 234-269.

Richard MacLure (ed.) Special Issue: Children's Rights in Latin America: Constraints and Possibilities International Journal of Children's Rights, 22: 2 (2014), 235-240

Cecilia McCallum, "Women Out of Place? A Micro-Historical Perspective on the Black Feminist Movement in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil." Journal of Latin American Studies, 39:1 (2007): 55-80.

Julia Paley. Marketing Democracy: Power and Social Movements in Post-Dictatorship Chile. Berkley: University of California Press, 2001.

Carolina Robledo Silvestre, ‘Combing History Against the Grain: The Search for Truth Amongst Mexico’s Hidden Graves’ in Pansters, Will.G, Smith, Benjamin T., and Watt, Peter (eds.), Beyond the Drug War in Mexico: Human Rights, the Public Sphere and Justice, London: Routledge, 2018.

Carolina Robledo Silvestre, ‘Looking for el Pozolero’s Traces: Identity and Liminal Condition in the War on Drug’s Disappearances’, Frontera Norte, 26:52, 2014.

Hillel Sofier and Alberto Vergara. Politics after Violence: Legacies of the Shining Path Conflict in Peru, New York, USA: University of Texas Press, 2021.

Barbara Sutton. Bodies in Crisis: Culture, Violence and Women’s Resistance in Neoliberal Argentina. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2010.

Kathryn Sikkink. 1996. “Reconceptualizing Sovereignty in the Americas: Historical Precursors and Current Practices.” Houston Journal of International Law 19(3): 705-724.

Javier Trevino-Rangel, ‘Silencing Grievance: Responding to human rights violations in Mexico’s war on drugs’, Journal of Human Rights,17:4 2018.

Letícia Veloso, “Universal citizens, unequal childhoods: Children’s Perspectives on Rights and Citizenship in Brazil,” Latin American Perspectives, 35:4 (July 2008): 45-59.


Primary Sources:

A traveller's account of police brutality in Brazil in:

Akala. Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire. London: Two Roads, 2018. 54-57.


Human Rights Watch Report on Colombia, 2021


NACLA ARTICLE commemorating Joane Florvil


Amnesty Materials on the Wagner Dos Santos case in Brazil, 1995 in the MRC


Before the Seminar:

Look at this website about contemporary issues of migration from central America. Find something that interests you.

Ecologies of Migrant Care, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, New York University 

You'll find some more information about the project in Diana Taylor. Presente!: The Politics of Presence. Duke University Press, 2020. (Chapter 1)


Cartonera Publishing