chapter  6
22 Pages

Territory and coercive violence

ByChristopher Marc Lilyblad

The purpose of this chapter is to empirically develop the first theoretical domain of authority outlined in Chapter 3; namely, how the organization of violence within circumscribed territories provides a basis for transcending the state of nature, thus providing a rudimentary basis for subsequent social, political, and economic development to unfold. This empirical investigation in Rio’s favelas proceeds in six stages by investigating (1) micro-level social organization in the context of gang formation; (2) acquisition of violence capacities through small arms procurement; (3) the development of gang hierarchy and structure; (4) expansion of organized violence endogenous to territorial favela boundaries; (5) violence mechanisms protecting internal social, economic, and political structures from hostile exogenous elements; and (6) state initiatives combating criminal gangs’ organization of violence via the UPP program. The chapter concludes by indicating that criminal gangs’ organization of violence in the favelas established territorial perimeters for further endogenous development of social dynamics producing authority in the second and third constitutive domains.