Call for Papers: Special Issue on “Crime and International Relations"


Monções, the International Relations Journal of Brazil’s National University of Grande Dourados (UFGD) (ISSN 23168323) calls for papers for a Special Issue on “Crime and International Relations”. The Journal accepts original research articles in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English. The deadline is  December 23, 2019. 


Crime and International Relations


Drug trafficking, smuggling, transnational organized crime, human trafficking, illegal arms trade – such are some of the several topics around which IR has been revolving for a few years already. 


Particularly thenceforth the 2000s, the manifold analyses on the international dimension of crime have two main streams. On the one hand, they occupy a central space in IR, as transnational illegalities mobilize repressive forces within the State, private security companies and illegal armed groups through multiple forms of violence whose rationale and practices have been the target of reflection over how they relate to the phenomenon of “war”. 


On the other hand, the proliferation of analyses of this kind has ended up fostering a certain familiarity within IR with a not-so-traditional actor: the police. The appeal of this novelty can be grasped through the surge in the number of conference slots, as well as publications tackling the theme, even though the trend has not been emulated at the same speed in recently published handbooks. Broadly consolidated handbooks, in their turn, do not even mention the theme in their glossary, such is the case in Barry Buzan’s and Lene Hansen’s (2009) The Evolution of International Security Studies.


In light of this landscape, this Special Issue intends to provide a platform for IR researchers whose main concern is “crime”. Among others, (i) international cooperation among police forces, (ii) the overlap of “crime" and “war" in security practices, and (iii) the study on criminalization and decriminalization in the international arena are themes particularly welcome. 


This Special Issue seeks to offer inputs not only to think different approaches on “crime” in IR, but also to unveil the consequences of this analytical effort to the debate within the discipline. Thus, gathering a range of approaches and analytical takes critically focused on the connection between “crime" and IR is among our main goals. In times of significant shifts in the spatialization of conflicts, the speed of legal and illegal fluxes of people, products, and capital, offering this platform for studies that avoid normalizing definitions of “crime”, of “inside/outside” boundaries is also among our core concerns. 


We especially encourage researchers analyzing the position Brazil and other Latin American countries occupy amidst these illegal transnational flows to submit research articles critically shedding light on transnational crime and IR as a discipline. 


Some questions have guided us through the process of putting together this call – which answers we would hope to see entertained in the submissions:


1)   How does crime challenge the analytical position war occupies in the discipline of IR?

2)   How challenging to the discipline of IR ir researching the police as a centralized bureaucracy within the “domestic" level?

3)    What is the impact of debating criminality and policies of control and repression in the way IR frames local, national and international spaces?

4)   How do the concepts of “public safety” and “international security” behave as we frame transnational threats in the contemporary world?

5)   How much of the reason Latin America is considered the most violent region of the world is related to the processes of construction of the meaning of “crime”?

6)   How do dynamics from capitalism influence illicit flows and policies of crime control in Latin America?

7)   What are possible consequences of new regulatory policies of illicit drug markets for Latin America?

8)   What is the role of the global dynamic of privatizing security in Latin America’s policies to tackle crime?

9)   What are the reciprocal exchanges between tackling crime and engaging in Peacebuilding operations, particularly when it comes to the reforming the security sector?

10) What studying crime can teach IR about politics? 


Prof. Marcelo da Silveira Campos (UFGD/InEAC)

Profa. Manuela Trindade Viana (IRI/PUC-Rio)

Prof. Paulo Pereira (PPGRI-San Tiago Dantas/PUC-SP)

Prof. Thiago Rodrigues (INEST/UFF)


The electronic publication Monções: the UFGD International Relations Journal aims to contribute to the development of International Relations and its co-related fields through the publication of original research articles submitted by post-grad students, early career researchers, junior, as well as senior scholars. 


Monções’audience is composed of researchers, scholars and the public interested in Foreign Policy, International Politics, Regional Integration, International Economy, International Relations Theory, International Organizations, Environment, Human Rights, International Law, Transnational Flows, among others.


For more information: Revista Monções.