Fall 2019 - 59150 - PA 682GA - Policy Research Project on Global Policy Issues
Militarization in Latin America: Mission Dynamics and Civilian Oversight
Faced with deep weaknesses in rule of law institutions and the challenge of confronting potent, resilient non-state actors, an increasing number of Latin American countries have opted to deepen the involvement of the military in public and internal security functions. These military missions include everything from routine anti-crime patrols in urban areas to special forces missions against “high-value targets” in remote zones. Militaries have embraced these missions as a means of ensuring continued political relevance and budgets in a region characterized by limited interstate threats. However, controversy abounds: not only are there numerous examples of human rights abuses occurring in the context of these missions, but many of the countries implementing them have little history of effective democratic oversight of the armed forces. In this Policy Research Project, students will help shine light on developments in a rapidly evolving policy domain. They will use open sources, complemented by interviews with practitioners and academics in Latin American countries, to assemble information regarding missions, force structures, budgets, training, and mechanisms of civilian oversight. This information will be used to create an online resource for the increasing number of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners seeking to understand the emergence of Latin America’s new “hybrid” security forces.