The goal of this seminar is to introduce the student to the theoretical discourses surrounding the concepts of order and disorder, along with their relation to violence in the particular world region that is South America. This world region has enjoyed independence from colonial powers for about two hundred years. However, the state-building and consolidation processes have left much to be desired. This has given way to the theoretical themes of order and disorder that attempt to explain the rise and persistence of violence in this region. Furthermore, the twentieth century saw an interesting evolution in the social problem that is violence in South America. During this century outpours of political violence, especially international conflicts, significantly decreased. However, during the second half of this century social violence (criminality) significantly increased to the point that it has become one of the main social problems in the region, and arguably the most pressing one in Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela. This seminar will examine these socio-political issues found in South America by reviewing the relevant historical processes of the nineteenth and twentieth century. It will also place particular emphasis on politico-economic theories that attempt to explain the unfolding of social violence.

Semester: WT 2014/15