Security and policing in Rio de Janeiro. An ethnography of the pacifying police units
In this thesis I address the challenges of Rio de Janeiro's ongoing public security reform, implemented through the establishment of the Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) in several of the city's favelas since 2009. I suggest that in order to address this problem, it is necessary to understand both the institutional and political context and conditions that the reform is set within, as well as the dynamics of violence in Rio de Janeiro. The empirical data presented and analyzed in this thesis was collected between December 2014 and July 2015, through an ethnographic fieldwork with the police officers working at three different UPPs. In my discussion I argue that the project has failed reaching its stated objectives of bringing peace and security to favela residents, as policing at the UPPs is still articulated through the logic of war, and that the project is tailored to the needs of political and economic elites, rather than the population living in the favelas. I develop the concept of "securitarian war" as an analytical category that highlights the interconnections between the security discourse, policing, and warfare, and suggest that my findings have broad implications for the field of public security.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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