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Jenny Pearce"Why is Latin America one of the most violent regions of
the world?

Professor Jenny Pearce

Prof. of Latin American Politics, University of Bradford


In this lecture Jenny Pearce explores violence in South American societies and makes a particular examination of gender bias and extreme abuse of women that prevails in the culture.

Jenny Pearce is Professor of Latin American Politics and Director of the International Centre for Participation Studies (ICPS) at Bradford. Earlier she worked for many years with international NGOs in Latin America, including Christian Aid, Oxfam, and CAFOD.

Her research Background:
• Building 'participation' as a field of study within both Political Science and Peace Studies. To what extent can democratization of diverse spheres of cultural and political life, contribute to more peaceful societies?
• Exploring the role of violence as an obstacle to democratization processes using interdisciplinary approaches. Violence inhibits participation but at the same time can generate social action to de-sanction violence, challenge violent actors and open up spaces for interaction previously closed by violence. She also explores how we can rethink 'security' as an enabler of participation in contexts of chronic violence
• Developing participatory research methodologies, knowledge exchange between academics and non-academics and South-North learning.
• All the above are empirically rooted in field work in a range of sites and contexts and comparative South-North research with a particular focus on:
• Latin America: Huehuetenango, Guatemala (post armed conflict and supporting local education and documentation centre)
• Medellin , Colombia (in the midst of mutating armed conflict). Working with the Universidad of Antioquia and Universidad of Medellin and the Observatorio de Seguridad Humana
• El Salvador, where her interest in knowledge exchange focusses on the Historical Memory Museum of Arcatao, Chalatenango
• Bradford, in the UK, with its ongoing history of riots, poverty and social tensions arising from deindustrialisation. The latter has led to comparative research between Latin America and the north of England, in the fields of participation, violence and security