African Studies Global Virtual Forum: Decoloniality and Southern Epistemologies—Silvia Rodríguez Maeso

African Studies Global Virtual Forum: Decoloniality and Southern Epistemologies—Silvia Rodríguez Maeso

Silvia Rodríguez Maeso, University of Coimbra

“Race and Space in the Global/Local (Mis)Adventures of ‘Citizen Security’ in Metropolitan Scenarios: The Case of Lima”

This seminar aims at exploring the methodological and theoretical challenges of unraveling and analyzing racialized security policies in metropolitan areas in Latin America since the 1990s, with a focus in the case of Lima (Peru).“Citizen security,” as a problem and a policy solution, has been produced as a principal development and public management issue combining debates over economic growth, reduction of poverty, human rights and democracy, with a specific emphasis on governing urban landscapes and populations. In this sense, I contend that the "citizen security” discourse and policies have been key in maintaining the colony and the polity modes of governance that organize the State-capital compound around surplus.

Racism is crucial to understand this process, however, it is usually absent or merely mentioned in critical scholarship as a (possible) factor in the wider context of the criminalization of poverty. 

I will examine the meanings of “citizen security” and the political/moral projects envisioned and implemented under this banner in Peru and the Lima Metropolitan Area since the 1990s. I will discuss the analytical challenges of unraveling the racial underpinnings of discourses and policy proposals established around three key issues: (i)policing and police accountability; (ii) urban development/renewal; and (iii) youth and women empowerment/inclusion. 

A doctoral candidate in political sociology (University of the Basque Country), Dr. Rodriguez Maeso is principal researcher at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra and vice coordinator of the Thematic Line "Democracy, Justice and Human Rights". She lectures in the doctorate programs: "Human Rights in Contemporary Societies" (CES/IIIUC)and "Sociology of the State, Law and Justice" (CES/FEUC, starting in 2021–22).

She is currently coordinating the research project POLITICS - "The politics of anti-racism in Europe and Latin America: knowledge production, decision-making and collective struggles" (European Research Council, 2017–22). 

Silvia has developed her research and teaching activities in the areas of critical race studies, anti-racism and decolonial thinking with a focus on: power and knowledge production; integration and inclusion public policies; urban security policies, police violence and racism, and antidiscrimination legislation and socio-legal discourse.

Virtual Event