Universiteit Leiden

nl en


CADS Research Seminar | Beyond Good and Evil

Monday 16 September 2019
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden

Beyond Good and Evil - Rethinking Civil Society Responses to Organised Crime

I draw on the findings of the large team project that I am completing on societal responses to crime-related violence in Mexico. Our project focused on societal responses because Mexico’s institutional responses have not been effective, and to the extent that the term “organised crime” is useful at all, I argue that it is organised around the institutions themselves, which provide illegal protection to criminal business as well as to legal business. Though political scientists have made similar points by writing of “criminal governance”, my aim is to include “civil society responses” within the same analytical framework, helping to avoid the Manicheism of assuming a “good” civil society fighting against “bad” criminal organisations. By recognizing that civil society has often enabled criminal business, I pose the question of when and to what effect civil society might instead impede it, whether by mitigating the effects or reducing the institutional margins.

About Trevor Stack

Dr. Trevor Stack is Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law (CISRUL) as well as Senior Lecturer, Spanish and Latin American Studies at the Department of Hispanic Studies, University of Aberdeen. This fall he is also Excellence Initiative Visiting Professor in Anthropology and Development Studies at Radboud University, Nijmegen. He obtained his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and has been doing research in Mexico since 1992. Since 2008 he has also done research in the East Bay Area of northern California. His research has focused mainly on aspects of citizenship and civil society. Dr. Stack is currently leading an ESRC project on Activism in Violent Regions, as well as an EU Marie Curie COFUND grant Political Concepts in the World.


This website uses cookies.  More information.