Dissertation Book Project
Machine [Gun] Politics: Why Politicians Cooperate with Organized Crime
One avenue for understanding the porousness between criminal organizations and politics is by studying why and how they cooperate peacefully instead of focusing on coercive or violent interactions. My dissertation book project, Machine [Gun] Politics: Why Politicians Cooperate with Organized Crime, investigates the conditions under which politicians willingly make deals with members of organized criminal groups. Using a mixed methods approach to analyze several forms of criminal-politician interactions in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this project explores the following questions:
Under what conditions is cooperation with criminal organizations an election-winning strategy?
Which candidates win in criminal strongholds, and why?
What are the consequences for voters who elect a politician that makes deals with criminal organizations?
Criminal Capacity: Why Some Criminal Groups are Better at Voter Mobilization than Others (Abstract)
- Recipient of the Best Paper Award from the Subnational Politics and Society Section, Latin American Studies Association (2020)
- Related writings: “Brazilian police killed 27 people in a single raid this month. That doesn’t make Rio de Janeiro safer.” The Monkey Cage, Washington Post.
The World Cup and the Spatial Distribution of Violence (Available upon request)
"How Should Lava Jato End?," in Corruption and the Lava Jato Scandal in Latin America (eds. Paul Lagunes and Jan Svejnar), Routledge Corruption and Anti-Corruption Studies, 2020. (with Matthew Stephenson) (Portuguese Edition)
- In the news: Estadão
Other Writings and Media
Mapping criminal factions in Rio de Janeiro:
I've created a time series of criminal dominance in Rio de Janeiro's favelas using open source data reporting on criminal activity (newspapers, blogs) from 2015 - present. See sample data here and an animation of reported incidents (takeovers, leadership turnovers) to the right.
I have appeared on a few podcasts to discuss my work on crime in Brazil:
I am a contributor to the Global Anticorruption Blog on topics related to corruption in Latin America.