Northwestern Events Calendar


Yanilda Gonzales: "From Victims to Resilient Citizens: The Policy Feedback Effects of State Violence"

When: Monday, April 22, 2019
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM CT

Where: Crowe Hall, Rm. 1132, 1860 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Linda Remaker   (847) 491-7980

Group: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Category: Academic


This project examines mobilization by the mothers of victims of state violence in Latin America. It develops the concept of resilient citizenship to elucidate how individuals vulnerable to the negation of citizenship and victims of state-induced trauma come to challenge the state socially and politically, making rights-based claims for justice and reform. Much of the social science literature on policy feedback effects shows that punitive interactions with state institutions convey negative messages about how the state views its citizens, leading to decreased participation and mobilization. Yet, after the death of their children at the hands of the state, many mothers from disadvantaged backgrounds engage in protest, advocate for legislative reforms, form organizations, and engage in a range of activist practices, antagonizing the very state institutions that victimized their children. Drawing on a multi-method research strategy, including quantitative analysis of cases of state violence and ethnographic work with mothers of victims of extrajudicial killings by state institutions in Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina, the project seeks to understand participation in contentious politics by victims of the state, considering how race, gender, and class inequality shape the relationship between victimization, participation, and state institutions, including the extent to which the moral capital of motherhood leads to variation in representation and institutional responses.

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