The most violent country in the world today is not Syria, but Brazil, where gangs, organized crime, regular crime, and state brutality create a pall of fear over daily life. Why are so many democratic states engulfed by violence? If the problem is poverty, why does homicide disproportionately afflict middle-income countries? If governments are so weak, why do countries otherwise able to deliver for their citizens find themselves unable to deliver on safety?
Rachel Kleinfeld's forthcoming book (Knopf 2018), based on field research in places that escaped extreme violence in Latin America, Europe, South Asia, the former Soviet Union, and the United States, argues that violence often arises from states that are complicit, rather than weak. What looks like a country overrun by gangs, insurgents, or organized crime is a governing system of extreme privilege and impunity for a few.
Dr Kleinfeld will introduce those ideas and discuss how violence works to bound these democracies, how some succeeded in overcoming their fates, and what her research tells us about countries caught in the throes of violence today. We will then open up for questions tendered in advance, and then for general Q&A.