Governing in the Midst of Violence: State and Paramilitary Politics in Colombia

Monday 4 December 2017 13:00 to 14:30
IDS Convening Space

Scholarship equating pervasive violence and state weakness has been recently and convincingly criticised by a growing body of literature. A finer sociological look at the links between states and non-statutory armed groups rather reveals relations of bargaining and delegation.

While taking these conclusions as a point of departure, this contribution studies a ‘borderline’ case, which presents divergent characteristics with most of the existing works. Through the study of paramilitary militias in Colombia, this seminar provides an analysis in which high-intensity violence does not marginalise the state, but on the contrary entails the reinforcement of its central role.

About the Speaker

Jacobo Grajales is Associate Professor of political science at the Center for European Research on Administration, Politics and Society, University of Lille. His current research, focused on the link between post-conflict situations and the political economy of rural land, has led him to undertake comparative field research in Colombia and Côte d'Ivoire.

He is the author of Gouverner dans la violence: le paramilitarisme en Colombie [Governing in the Midst of Violence: Paramilitary Politics in Colombia] (Karthala, 2016), as well as several articles on the agrarian dimension of the Colombian conflict published by Development and Change and The Journal of Peasant Studies.



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