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Gangs as non-state armed groups: the Central American case

Rodgers, Dennis and Muggah, Robert (2009) Gangs as non-state armed groups: the Central American case. Contemporary Security Policy, 30 (2). pp. 301-317. ISSN 1352-3260

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13523260903059948


Gangs are popularly considered to be the major security threat facing the Central American region. In focusing on the origins and dynamics of gangs in the region, this article seeks to broaden conceptualizations of non-state armed groups by expanding the theoretical optic from a narrow focus on war and post-war contexts to a wider spectrum of settings, actors, and motivations. It highlights a category of actors that does not explicitly seek to overthrow the state, but rather progressively undermines or assumes certain state functions. The article also reveals how efforts to contain and regulate gangs flow from their imputed motives, with interventions influenced by whether they are conceived as a criminal or political threat. At the same time, coercive regulation tend to be favoured even when such repressive interventions exacerbate gang violence, for reasons that reveal the deeper underlying political, social, and economic challenges facing the Central American region

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2010 12:17
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2024 23:42

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