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PhD defence

Order and Crime: Criminal Groups´ Political Legitimacy in Michoacán and Sicily

Thursday 20 February 2020
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


This investigation researches on contexts of disorder or crisis, in which criminal actors gain legitimacy. By affirming that criminal groups are already social agents, this research argues that they gain political legitimacy to the extent that criminal groups engage in an authority-building process. Thus, it focuses on two instances in which criminal groups launched campaigns—or at least engaged in planned activities— in order to gain political and social legitimacy. La Familia Michoacana (LFM) and Los Caballeros Templarios (LCT) de Michoacán, on the one hand, and Cosa Nostra (CN), on the other, offer rich and instructive cases to examine. Precisely, the research asks for how these groups seek to forge legitimacy, as well as for what are their strategies for that purpose.

Read the full summary here


  • Prof. I.G.B.M. Duyvesteyn

Funding organisations

  • National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) of Mexico


PhD defences are free; you do not have to register.

PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

Press contact

Maarten Muns, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
+31 71 527 3282

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