Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Criminal Leviathans: How Gangs Govern, Organize Crime, and Threaten the State from Behind Bars

March 17th, 2021
12 noon

Criminal Leviathans: How Gangs Govern, Organize Crime, and Threaten the State from Behind Bars
Dr. Ben Lessing – University of Chicago
Register here: Zoom Registration

From Brazil to El Salvador, prison gangs have transformed the state‘€™s disciplinary institutions into headquarters for building drug empires, organizing street crime, and orchestrating terrorist attacks capable of bringing the state to heel. At the same time, they govern‘€“providing order and physical safety for millions of low-income residents across vast informal peripheries neglected by governments. The fruit of decades of resorting to repressive strategies to address underlying social problems, these criminal shadow-governments simultaneously defy and undergird the neoliberal state, in the process creating a stubborn specter of non-state authority. Dr. Lessing analyzes the Primer Comando de Capital in Brazil and find that the PCC’s monopoly in São Paulo is not a “natural” one, but rather supported, if inadvertently, by state policy.

This is the second lecture in CIPR’s Spring Series: Citizens & Politics: The Changing Nature of Parties, Participation, and Linkages






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Upcoming Events

Central America: People and the Environment Asynchronous Institute

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Register now for the ASYNCHRONOUS COURSE which opens up in July
Please note, the synchronous blended institute taking place June 14 – 25 is no longer accepting registrants.

This summer educator institute is the third institute in a series being offered by Tulane University, The University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University. This series of institutes is designed to enhance the presence of Central America in the K-12 classroom. Each year, participants engage with presenters, resources and other K-12 colleagues to explore diverse topics in Central America with a focus on people and the environment. It is not required to have participated in past institutes to join us.

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University is excited to host and coordinate this year’s institute. Tulane University and New Orleans are both unique and important places to explore the deep connections to Central America with a focus on people and environment. With presentations by leading historians and sociologists on Central America, environment and race we are excited to share the work and resources from presenters as well as the unique resources at Tulane.


NOW REGISTERING FOR THE ASYNCHRONOUS INSTITUTE For more information, please email or call 504.865.5164. Space is limited.