CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Comparative Approaches to Security Sector Reform, with a special focus on the penal system (March 2014, Sao Paulo)

Do you research security sector reform, especially prisons and police, in developing, post-conflict and transitional country settings? Would you be interested in meeting and working alongside Brazilian colleagues doing the same, to share ideas, methodologies and comparative analysis?

Under the Researcher Links scheme funded by the British Council and São Paulo State Research Council we will be holding a two-day workshop on the above theme in São Paulo on 13-14 March 2014. The workshop’s focus is on career development, international collaboration, network building and peer mentoring. The workshop is being coordinated by Dr Fiona Macaulay of the University of Bradford Peace Studies Department and Dr Renato Lima, of the Brazilian Forum on Public Security, and will have contributions from other leading researchers – Professor Alice Hills of the University of Durham, and Professor Roy King, Emeritus Professor, University of Bangor from the UK, and Dr Fernando Salla, from the Centre for the Study of Violence, University of Sao Paulo, and Dr Túlio Kahn, UNDP consultant and former Chief executive of the Latin American Institute on Crime (ILANUD).

We are now inviting Early Career Researchers from the UK and Brazil to apply to attend this workshop. All travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Researcher Links programme. The application form, with more details on the initiative, can be found here and should be sent to Dr Macaulay at before the deadline of 1 December 2013.

Theme of the event

Security sector reform (SSR) focuses academic and policy-oriented research on how transitional/democratizing states manage public security, rule of law, human rights compliance, and crime. It encompasses discrete research areas, into police, judiciaries, armed forces, transitional justice, and penal practices.

Brazil has developed the densest epistemic and policy community on domestic SSR issues in Latin America, due its size and the challenges of reforming its police forces, prison system (the fourth largest globally) and courts. Although its senior members collaborate in some comparative research networks, adapting and adopting methods and best practice policies from some other regions (Latin America, Europe, North America) for application to Brazilian problems, Brazilian researchers do not frame their research as SSR (seen as a foreign policy enterprise of the global north) or conduct research beyond Brazil. Yet, as an emerging, global power, Brazil is involved in peacekeeping (Haiti), South-South practices of technical assistance to developing regions (Africa), and norm development in the international system. Brazilian researchers would benefit from exposure to comparative work in other post-conflict/transitional regions on which British researchers tend to focus (Middle East, post-Communist countries, Sub-Saharan Africa) due to geographical proximity, colonial ties, UK engagement in military conflicts, and language issues. Post-conflict states are seen as receivers, not generators of SSR technologies that are developed in the global north, yet have mixed results when ‘exported’. However, Brazil and other stable, middle-income Latin American states offer valuable lessons in endogenous, novel or hybridized SSR models.

This workshop brings together Brazilian and UK researchers working on SSR from different disciplines and regions to widen the comparative horizons of both. It focuses especially on the penal system, as a relatively under-researched area in Brazil (prisons are currently a major source of domestic insecurity) and the UK (domestic criminology’s output on prisons remains unconnected to SSR debates).

CONFERENCE REPORT: Beyond Neoliberalism? Politics and Punishment in Contemporary Societies (University of A Coruña, 3-4 October 2013)

The Law School of the University of A Coruña hosted an International Conference on 3-4 October, organised by the ECRIM research group and entitled “Beyond Neoliberalism? Politics and Punishment in Contemporary Societies”.

Ale foto conferenceOur fellow Alejandra Otamendi (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina) gave a presentation on “Public support of punitive policies at the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (2000-2010)”.

For a full conference report, please click here.

CONFERENCE: Segundo Encuentro Regional de la Red Latinoamericana de Seguridad y Delincuencia Organizada –RELASEDOR (10 Oct 2013, Panama)


Lugar: Victoria Hotel & Suites. El Cangrejo, CalleD, Bella Vista, Panamá, Panamá.



08h00-08h15 Inscripción de los participantes

08h15-09h00 Inauguración

  • Dra. Carmen Guadalupe Córdoba, Directora FLACSO Programa Panamá
  • Dr. Fredy Rivera, Profesor- investigador, FLACSO Ecuador
  • Lcda. Araceli de Casanova –Directora Nacional del  Sistema Nacional Integrado de Estadísticas
  • Criminales de Panamá

09h00-10h20 Primera Mesa: Avances y fundamentos de la Investigación en la RELASEDOR

Presentación del Proyecto RELASEDOR

  • Fredy Rivera – FLACSO Ecuador
  • Objetivos y avances de la RELASEDOR
  • Daniel Pontón – FLACSO Ecuador

Presentación de las redes de comunicación de la RELASEDOR

  • Gilda Guerrero – FLACSO Ecuador

10h20-10h40 Receso

10h40-12h20 Segunda Mesa: Resultados e Indicadores de Seguridad en el área norte y centroamericana

Resultados e indicadores de seguridad en Costa Rica

  • Rodolfo Calderón – Universidad de Costa Rica

Resultados e indicadores de seguridad en Panamá

  • José Lasso Núñez – FLACSO Panamá

Resultados e indicadores de seguridad en México

  • Miguel Garza- Convivencia Joven, AC

Resultados e indicadores de seguridad en Guatemala

  • Ingrid Rivera- Incidencia Democrática

12h20-13h40 Receso

13h40-15h00 Tercera Mesa: Resultados e Indicadores de Seguridad en zona andina

Resultados e indicadores de seguridad en Ecuador

  • Daniel Pontón – FLACSO Ecuador

Resultados e indicadores de seguridad en Colombia

  • Gustavo Duncan – Universidad de los Andes

Resultados e indicadores de seguridad en Perú

  • Enrique Castro – Taller de Asuntos Públicos

15h00-15h20 Receso

15h20-16h20 Cuarta Mesa: Resultados e Indicadores de Seguridad en zona sudamericana

Resultados e indicadores de seguridad en Brasil

  • Renato Sérgio de Lima – Foro Brasileño de Seguridad Pública

Resultados e indicadores de seguridad en Argentina

  • Alejandra Otamendi – Universidad de Buenos Aires

16h20-17h40 Quinta Mesa: Esquema metodológico estratégico

Fundamentos Teóricos y metodológicos para la construcción de indicadores de delincuencia organizada

  • Daniel Sansó-Rubert, Universidad Santiago de Compostela

Repaso de las estratégias metodológicas de la delincuencia organizada

  • Daniel Pontón – FLACSO Ecuador

CONFERENCE: Beyond Neoliberalism? Politics and Punishment in Contemporary Societies (3-4 Oct 2013, Law School, University of A Coruña, Spain)

In recent years, a prominent piece of academic literature has analysed the transformations in the field of punishment through the lens of what has been called neoliberalism. Several theoretical perspectives, such as the governmentality studies, or a variety of analysis on post-welfarist punishment, have highlighted the influence of economic policies and the neoliberal mode of government on the recent evolution of penal policies.

These theoretical frameworks appear to be especially relevant to face the current challenges of the field of punishment and social control. Yet, a crucial historical event has further strengthened the interest of this sort of analysis. In effect, the study of punishment from the perspective of politics and political economy has gained momentum with the beginning of what has been termed the Great Recession. The conference is focused on this theoretical field, and it is aimed to reflect on punishment both in relation to and beyond neoliberalism.


ECRIM, University of A Coruña, Spain (

Academic chairs: José Ángel Brandariz (University of A Coruña, Spain), Máximo Sozzo (National University of the Litoral, Argentina)

Organizing committee chair: Patricia Faraldo (University of A Coruña, Spain)

For more information and programme, click here.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: International Training in Conflict Transformation, Centre for Conflict Resolution, Kenya

Message from Susan N. Minjire, Programme Officer, Centre for Conflict Resolution, Kenya

Dear all,

Greetings from the Centre for Conflict Resolution – Kenya.  This is to let you know that CCR will be undertaking a training for parties who may be interested in furthering their skills in Conflict Management, Conflict Transformation, Early Warning and Early Response amongst others.  The training is scheduled to take place fron 2nd – 6th December; 2013 in Nairobi Kenya.

Detailed information about the course and the course modules to be covered during the 5 days training is in the documents below.

Training information: CCR-K TRAINING

Application Form: App-Form-Details-A13

The deadline for submitting the applications is on 20th November; 2013 by C.O.B.

For further clarification you can write back to us through

CONFERENCE REPORT: ISA-PSS Joint Conference on “Security Challenges in an Evolving World”

By Susan Hoppert-Flaemig

As posted in the news section recently, blog members Susan Hoppert-Flaemig, Verena Brähler, Juan Carlos Ruiz, and Alejandra Otamendi presented a panel at the ISA-PSS Joint Conference on “Security Challenges in an Evolving World” in Budapest on 27 June 2013.

One of our motives of establishing was the wish to create a network to share our experiences, questions, doubts, and successes as young scholars in our field. Methodological and ethical issues are certainly an important part of our research and, from our point of view, require constant debates.

We therefore proposed and realised a panel on “Researching (In)Security and Violence: Diffusion in Methodology” at the Budapest Conference. Drawing on our own field research, we used the panel to discuss topics ranging from practical aspects such as gaining field access to deeper ethical concerns about cross-cultural research:

  • Verena Brähler: Gaining and Maintaining Access when Researching on Security, Organised Crime, and Violence (based on field research in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil);
  • Susan Hoppert-Flaemig: Cultural Limits of Ethical Standards: Written Consent as an Obstacle for Research in Non-European Cultures (elaborated on the discrepancy between ethical standards at British universities and practical challenges of field research in El Salvador);
  • Juan Carlos Ruiz: Methodological challenges to study violence in Latin American excluded communities;
  • Alejandra Otamendi: Use of Secondary Quantitative Data to Study Crime and Crime Perceptions in the Case of Public Punitiveness in Buenos Aires.

The presentations can be found here.

The presentations were followed by a lively debate about obstacles and risks in researching in a vulnerable and violent environment and about the usefulness of ethical standards; and we very much appreciated the input of our discussant Edmund Pries from Wilfried Laurier University (Canada).

Having attended a number of presentations of other panels at the conference, we got the impression that a lot of security research is still being undertaken by those disciplines that traditionally dominate security research, namely political science and international relations. Within these disciplines, many projects were working with quantitative data. Contributions from other disciplines such as anthropology and sociology as well as projects working with qualitative data were less represented.

Reflecting on the implications of this, we agreed that our network is open to a diverse range of methodologies and disciplines studying security. However, we also came to the conclusion that our particular strengths are expertise in grassroots and hands-on approaches, as well as heightened awareness for the implications of our research for the communities and societies we are working with.

Researchingsecurity at the ISA-PSS Conference in Budapest

Our blog members Susan Flämig, Juan Carlos RuizVerena Brähler and Maria Alejandra Otamendi jointly presented a panel on “Researching (In)security and Violence: Diffusion in Methodology” at the “Security Challenges in an Evolving World Conference” (International Studies Association & Peace Science Society) in Budapest on 27 June 2013.

After the presentations, the Researchingsecurity members engaged in a stimulating discussion with the audience on the topic of how to research security, organised crime and violence. We will post our conference presentations here soon.

For now we would like to thank Kari Mariska Pries for organising the panel and our discussant Edmund Pries from Wilfrid Laurier University for his valuable comments and insight.

Susan Flaemig, Juan Carlos Ruiz, Edmund Pries and Verena Brähler (from left to right)

Susan Flaemig, Juan Carlos Ruiz, Edmund Pries and Verena Brähler (from left to right)

CONFERENCE: 7th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (15 – 17 May 2013, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia)

The seventh annual conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP) will be held at Universidad de los Andes, in Bogotá, Colombia, May 15th ‐ 17th, 2013. The event is being hosted by the Research Center on Drugs and Security at Universidad de los Andes.

The conference will be of interest to policy makers, practitioners and academics from a wide array of disciplines who are engaged in drug policy analyses pertaining to drug markets, the harms caused by both the supply of and demand for drugs, and the intended and unintended consequences of different drug policies.

The theme of the conference will be “Collateral costs of illegal drugs and the war on drugs: violence, corruption and institutional instability”. This will structure the content of keynote lectures and provide an analytical thread that runs through all the sessions. Papers on other topics such as demand reduction, treatment and prevention policies, etc., are also very welcome to apply.

The invited keynote speakers are:

  • Mark Kleiman (UCLA, United States)
  • Fiona Measham (Lancaster University, UK)
  • General (R) Oscar Naranjo (Colombia)
  • Eduardo Medina‐Mora (Mexican Ambassador to the UK) – TBC.

Conference registration will open by January 2013 and close on May 1st, 2013. Participants are encouraged to register before March 15th, 2013.

The working language of the conference will be English. Translation services (Spanish to English and English to Spanish) will be available in some sessions of the conference.

More information:

CALL FOR PAPERS: PILAS Conference 2013 (19 – 21 June 2013, University of Liverpool, UK)

“Towards a New Geometry of Power: Confronting Latin America’s Past in order to Shape its Future”

Students are invited to submit abstracts on ANY ASPECT of their research within the field of Latin American Studies for PILAS 2013. We are looking forward to receiving a wide range of interdisciplinary postgraduate research on Latin America.

PILAS also welcomes papers that engage with the conference’s main theme, “Towards a New Geometry of Power: Confronting Latin America’s Past in order to Shape its Future”.

September 11 of this year will mark the 40th anniversary of the coup in Chile which overthrew the Salvador Allende government. Drawing on this critical moment in Latin America’s history, this theme encourages postgraduate researchers to consider the dialogical and inter-relational dynamic between previous historical and political experiences and some of the recent developments in Latin America; with a particular emphasis on the re-negotiation and reconfiguration of socio-political and economic power relationships. Possible topics may relate to: reconsiderations of the State and Civil Society binary and the changing nature of these two concepts; social movements in historical context; the renegotiation of social, political and cultural boundaries, spaces and relationships “from below”; new directions in Latin American and Caribbean economies; the impact of regional economic trade initiatives and political polarisation as expressed through a variety of media.

We welcome papers from across the disciplines as we wish to attract as many views on Latin America as possible. We also encourage postgraduate students to consider making a panel proposal to the PILAS committee. This year we will also be making a “Poster Presentation” space available throughout the conference, where researchers will be able to display their projects in poster format and discuss their work with other postgraduate students in a relaxed environment. This may be particularly appealing to postgraduates who would like the opportunity to discuss their research in a more informal setting. Those who plan on giving a paper at the conference are also equally welcome to participate in this forum.

To submit an abstract for a paper, panel or poster (up to 250 words), please fill in the “Paper Proposal” section of the Conference Registration form (available via the PILAS website) and send the completed form as an attachment to by 15 April. Please see the website for more details, including presentation specifications.

Conference Registration Deadline: 15 APRIL 2013

All students planning to attend PILAS 2013 – whether to present a paper, poster, or simply to enjoy the conference – should register using the same form.

Attending this conference is FREE to all participants. Postgraduate students who do not wish to present a paper or poster are warmly invited to attend and partake in discussion.

More information: Website and Facebook


Researchingsecurity is going to Budapest

We are happy to announce that Researchingsecurity was invited to talk at the PSS-ISA Joint Conference about ‘Security Challenges in an Evolving World’, from 27-29 June, 2013, at Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary.

Our panel ‘TD11: Researching (In)Security and Violence: Diffusion in Methodology’ will be held on 27th of June, from 3.30pm – 5pm.

Researching (in)security in violence context is fraught with methodological and ethical concerns and present common barriers across disciplinary fields. These issues become particularly pressing for early career researchers with little experience, few connections, and scarce resources. As such, a blog entitled Researching Security was established in 2011 by PhD and early career researchers as a means through which to diffuse experiences in relation to criminal, (in)security and violence research as a means to overcome obstacles and to spread first hand outcomes. Not only is the space provided to discuss common problems, competing methodologies, share concerns over ethics, the forum has proved to be popular around the world – reaching a concentrated range of readers and commentators in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, the UK and the US – but also as far as Indonesia and Syria. Through presentations by blog participants, new field research will be discussed in the context of methodological issues presented and discussed through the blog and examine the nature and importance of its diffusion in the wider academic and policy community. Three main fields are proposed; ethics, methodology and networking in the field of security and violence studies.


Edmund Pries, Wilfried Laurier University


  • Juan Carlos Ruiz: Methodological challenges to study violence in Latin American excluded communities
  • Verena Brähler: Gaining and Maintaining Access when Researching Security, Organised Crime and Violence
  • Kari Mariska Pries: Learning Lessons in Conflict Analysis: Strategy-sharing in the study of violence
  • Susan Hoppert-Flämig: The Cultural Limits of Ethical Standards
  • Maria Alejandra Otamendi: Use of Secondary Quantitative Data to Study Crime and Crime Perceptions: The case of public punitiveness in Buenos Aires

We are looking forward to meeting our friends and colleagues in Budapest for an exciting conference!