Call for Papers: "Militarization and Public Security in the Americas", Pensamiento Propio

“Militarization and Public Security in the Americas”

Special Issue

Call for Papers

Guest Editors

Thiago Rodrigues (Fluminense National University, Brazil)
Ole Wæver (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Érika Rodríguez-Pinzón (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)

The deployment of military forces in public security crises is an increasing trend all
across the Americas. The use of the military in policing missions is rooted in processes
of local and national historical formation, as well as in the activities of repressive
apparatuses created during the ages of Cold War authoritarianism in Latin America
and the Caribbean.

The social and governmental sense of urgency in reclaiming the efficiency of security
forces’ personnel and modus operandi has impacted police tactics. In regard to
training and equipment, as well as mindset, changes tend to emulate practices of
militarization directed against domestic/intermestic targets. Militarization’s ultimate
goal? Crushing the competition dismantling the State’s core definition – the legitimate
monopoly of the use of violence. Non-state actors such as gangs, guerrillas, private
military companies, and self-defense groups would all amount to competition and
yield different levels of repression.

Since the 1960s, the US Hemispheric security strategy has boosted this phenomenon.
Yet, US external pressure is just one of the many explanatory variables of a complex
scenario. Transnational organized crime groups or the many actors within internal
conflicts are among local dynamics that critically influence the production of various
political and security outcomes.

In the beginning of the 21th century, the Americas are home to the most lethal cities
in the world. Homicides rates exceed absolute figures in countries officially going
through wars/civil wars. The States’ response, nevertheless, has emphasized the
militarization option even though stirring matching violent reactions on the side of
illegal organizations.

Peacebuilding has hence increasingly framed the construction of peace in a
multifaceted manner, including causes and ways to mitigate chronical criminal and
state violence. Such analytical effort demands innovative research that generates
empirical data, performs comparative studies, and aims at forging original theoretical
and methodological frameworks.

In light of the relevance of the militarization of public security to the analysis of
violence, democracy and peacebuilding in the Americas, Pensamiento Propio is calling
for submissions for this special issue. It is our goal to gather articles that can offer
original approaches to these phenomena from innovative theoretical and
methodological perspectives. Besides other contributions, we are looking for case
studies on the militarization of public security not only in Latin America and the
Caribbean, but also in the US and Canada.

The editors seek a plurality of theoretical and methodological approaches, the
presentation of elucidative empirical research, as well a diverse sample of cities,
countries, regions and other geographic categories.

The submissions will pass through a double-blind peer review process, according to
editorial guidelines available at

The deadline for submissions is January 20, 2020, at