The spread of Southern responses on peace operations, policing, drug trafficking and terrorism


Samuel Alves Soares (UNESP/Programa de Pós-Graduação San Tiago Dantas)

Danilo Marcondes de Souza Neto (AMAZUL/Escola Superior de Guerra)


Recent debates about (inter)national peace and security have included discussions on how to improve the training of military personnel to participate in United Nations peace operations, how to better prepare police forces to address violence and criminality, how to protect civilians in situations of vulnerability and how to respond to drug trafficking and terrorism.  These academic discussions are now beginning to include references from the literature on policy diffusion (Peck and Theodore 2015; Porto de Oliveira 2017), particularly when they share an interest in identifying how certain practices and ideas implemented in specific contexts have been diffused to other contexts and how they are implemented in these new contexts. The implementation of these policies has taken place at the bilateral level but also at the multilateral one and have occurred often in association with South-South cooperation initiatives and/or with the growing role of Southern countries in participating in efforts associated with the maintenance of international peace and security (Amar 2013; Muller 2016). For example, practices developed within the implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) have influenced the creation of similar practices in different UN missions located in other regions of the globe, such as the African continent. The Brazilian Armed Forces have used their experience and expertise derived from participating in MINUSTAH (2004-2017) to train the military forces of countries in Africa and Latin America for future participation in UN peace operations. Colombian security and police forces have shared their experience in fighting drug trafficking with states in Central America, West Africa, and Afghanistan.

In light of the developments described above, the panel also seeks to address how certain specific experiences associated with the maintenance of (inter)national peace and security are legitimized and how the ‘expertise’ that is acquired within a specific domestic/international response to a security issue is defined as worthy of diffusion to different contexts. More importantly, academic contributions focusing on these experiences should attempt to unpack these developments, shedding light on: How and by whom are ‘expertise’ and ‘experts’ defined regarding (inter)national peace and security? Who should be ‘learning’ from whom? And finally: What are the silences and hierarchies created/reinforced when policies and ideas on (inter)national peace and security are diffused from one context to another?

The panel will contemplate papers that focus on the following issues:

  • How ideas and practices related to (inter)national peace and security (peace operations, protection of civilians, drug trafficking, policing, terrorism) have been mobilized and translated into policies in different contexts?
  • What has been the role of South-South cooperation, paradiplomacy, and civil society organizations in the diffusion of Southern experiences related to practices and ideas associated to (inter)national peace and security?
  • What is the role of international organizations (United Nations, ASEAN, African Union, Mercosur, European Union, OECD) in promoting the exchange of knowledge and experiences about practices and ideas associated with the maintenance of (inter)national peace and security?
  • What is the role played by specific forms of technology in facilitating the diffusion and transfer of certain practices associated with the maintenance of (inter)national peace and security?
  • How are specific experiences associated to (inter)national security developments legitimized and de-legitimized (ex: responses to drug trafficking) when diffused?
  • How have specific ideas, practices, and experiences associated with the maintenance of (inter)national peace and security traveled from Latin America to other contexts (Africa, Asia, Europe)? How are ideas, practices, and experiences implemented in Latin America influenced by similar experiences originating from other regional contexts?

Contributions that consider similar questions not listed above are welcome.

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AMAR, P. (ed.)(2013) Global South to the Rescue. Emerging Humanitarian Superpowers and Globalizing Rescue Industries. New York, Routledge.

MULLER, M. M. (2016) ‘Entangled pacifications: peacekeeping, counterinsurgency and policing in Port-au-Prince and Rio de Janeiro” In Jana Honke and Markus-Michael Müller (eds.) The global making of policing. Postcolonial perspectives. New York, Routledge.

PECK, J.; THEODORE, N. (2015). Fast Policy: Experimental Statecraft at the Thresholds of Neoliberalism. Minneapolis and London, University of Minnesota Press.

PORTO DE OLIVEIRA, O. (2017). International Policy Diffusion and Participatory Budgeting: Ambassadors of Participation, International Institutions, and Transnational Networks. London, Palgrave Macmillan.