The Right to Security: Militarized Policing and Its Alternatives in Rio de Janeiro


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation examines the conjuncture of repressive policing and rights-based discourses and practices in a controversial public security program in Brazilian favelas called "police pacification.” Going beyond support or condemnation of this program, the dissertation investigates the meanings of security, policing, and power in the lived experiences of favela residents, police, military soldiers, and policymakers. Their varied understandings reveal much about the tension between coercion and social contract in state sovereignty; the contested construction of authority in a context where criminal groups compete with the state; and the fine line between public security as a right to protection from crime and militarized security as abuse of rights.