Violence & Politics in the Latin America Republican Experiences (19thC)

Violence & Politics in the Latin America Republican Experiences (19thC)

International Seminar
November 5,12,19,26 & December 1, 2022

Course Facilitator: Flavia Julieta Macias, PhD

The Idea
GIRES, the Global Institute for Research, Education & Scholarship and the Center for Latin American Political Studies (CLAPS) are proud to introduce a series of seminars dedicates to Violence and Politics in Latin America focusing on 19th century, embracing and exploring a highly significant and complex part of the global history in a fascinating part of the world.    

New research has analyzed the issue from a historical perspective within the frame of post-colonial republican formation, a process that was common and contemporaneous to other countries of the continent, like the United States—and which connected the Latin American political experience to the rest of the Western world. Political violence played a central role in the post-colonial republican experiences, throughout the Americas. Revolutionary movements and wars of independence generated a military legacy that dramatically changed the former colonial societies’ political and social behaviors. As a consequence, the “republics in the making” (Sabato, 2018) assimilated an unprecedented relationship between arms and politics that impacted the dynamics of political life, the construction of citizenship and the issue of republican defense. “Who should control violence,” “who should be the legitimate custodian of the polity” and, “what should be the place of violence in the newfound republican order” became central questions in the public debates of the new republican era.

In this seminar, we will examine those questions through an institution that was key to 19th century republics: the militia. The militia constituted a central military and political force that was at the focal point of the debates and disputes around the use of violence; it materialized one of the central components of the 19th century citizenship: the “armed citizenry.”

The Aim
This seminar proposes an analysis and debate of new historiographical projects and of the historical, political and regional optic they utilize. The advances in current historiography, framed within a new political history, have placed emphasis on the problems here underlined and questioned classic interpretations that until recently explained the use of force in republican Latin American political life as an anomaly or as a residual effect. These new advances have permitted historians to interrogate the question of “political order” that traditional visions have strictly associated with the state’s monopoly and centralization of force. At the same time, they have given rise to particular approaches that address one of the crucial problems of republican experience: the invention of the citizen and his forms of intervention in public life. 

In this framework, we will engage debates regarding the founding principle of an ‘armed citizenry’ in Latin America, while also taking into account how this debate played out in the United States, particularly in the conception of the Second Amendment. Also, we will examine disputes over how violence should be controlled in three specific periods: independence movements, the organization of the early republic, and nation-state formation. Finally, we will examine how 19th century concepts and categories of political violence differ and connect to those of the 20th century. 

 The Outcome
Through bibliographical resources, documents, films and podcasts the course takes a reflective, interconnected, and global perspective to examine the Latin American republican experiences, and the role of violence in political practices, beyond the confines of any singular national history. After de end of the seminar, you will be able to:

-Deal with both historical and global approaches to integrate and articulate specific temporal, spatial and political-institutional frameworks in a dynamic manner.
-Turn your attention toward polysemic and historical political concepts produced by contemporaneous political actors.
-Call into question anachronistic conclusions that resulted when categories created to understand 20th century political processes have been applied to 19th century political experience. 

The Structure
The seminar consists of a condensed discussion of a core topic and texts chosen for each session.
They are separated into three (3) main blocks + Q&A:

  1. Main Themes
  2. Background
  3. Secondary / less discussed themes or details

+Q&A: Participants are welcome to discuss with Dr. Macías and clarify any questions /thoughts/ opinions may arise during each seminar

The Program  

Thematic 1 (5 November, 2022-1.5h)
Points of Departure: What do we mean when we refer to political violence?
Political violence: concepts, approaches and categories. Historiographical perspectives and new lines of inquiry. Counterpoints and connections between 19th and 20th centuries.

Thematic 2 (12 November, 2022-1.5h)
Revolutionary Violence
Political Revolutions, Wars of Independence and militarization. The principles of popular sovereignty and “the sacred right of insurrection”. Militias: from colony to the republic. The right to bear arms: Republics in arms in Latin America and the Second Amendment in the United States.

Thematic 3 (19 November, 2022-1.5h)
“In defense of the Fatherland and this Constitution”
Nation-state formation and the principle of “armed citizenry”. Who controls the violence? Provincial authorities, local commanders and federal/central power. The National Guard and the Standing Armies. “Informal” militias: “Montoneras” and “guerrillas.” Regional leaders: “Caudillos”.

Thematic 4 (26 November, 2022-1.5h)
“The Restoration of Liberties and the Constitutional Order”
Citizen in arms: Revolutions and “pronunciamientos militares.” Citizen voters/national guards: the duty of enlisting and the right to vote. Elections, electoral “troops” and militias networks. The “electoral combat”: polling days and violence.

Thematic 5 (1 December, 2022-1.5h)
Latin America at the turn of century
The renewed debate over the republic, the use of military force, and the armed citizenry. The end of the militia tradition. In the framework of Latin American 20th century democracies: a new concept of political violence.

+Q&A Sessions after the end of each course: Participants are welcome to discuss with the tutor and clarify any questions/thoughts/opinions may arise during the meetings.
+ Extra proposed bibliography will be shared with all registered participants.

Due to the restrictions of Corona Crisis our event (for the time being) will take place VIRTUALLY

  • Date of Seminar

    GIRES Headquarters (GMT+1)
    November 5,12,19,26
    December 1 2022

  • Deadline for registration

    October 20 2022

  • Acceptance notification

    Day of registration

  • Time of Seminars

    (Time to fit participants
    from all timezones)

  • Duration of each Seminar

    1.5 hours
    + Q&A

  • Format

    Virtual Platform Recordings
    Live Online sessions

    Links for meetings provided
    after registration

  • Registration fee

    Early Bird: 99 euros
    (Before 1 September)
    Regular: 150 euros
    (After 1 September)

    Students:50 euros (flat fee)
    (BA-MA-PhD students)

Register with Credit Card or PayPal


To pay with PayPal -click on PayPal button
To pay with all major credit and debit cards-click on Credit Card Button

Proceeding to the payment link you agree with the Terms and Conditions ( )
and you fully comply with the Code of Conduct ( of GIRES the Global Institute for Research,Education & Scholarship. 

GIRES_Politics in the Latin America Workshop

Subscribe Newsletter