Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Political Science, Louisiana State University / Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2010
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Political Science, University of Notre Dame
State Surveillance and State Violence in Guatemala

My dissertation project on “State Surveillance and State Violence in Guatemala” seeks to document two important, but as yet unknown, properties of political repression: (1) Who amongst the population are states likely to target for political repression?, and (2) What leads the state to increase (or decrease) the scope of its targeting?. The project’s theoretical focus is on the ways that state surveillance agencies first construct threats to the state, and the ways in which the construction of these threats leads to subsequent patterns of repressive violence. To cut at the multiple interactive processes linking state surveillance to state violence, the project is composed of a series of three successive studies that investigate how particular aspects related to the state’s surveillance activities - including the distribution of information the state holds about various parts of the country, the ways in which it acquires new information, and the system of classification used to process incoming data - determine the targets of state repression. Empirically, the study involves a systematic data collection effort centered on a unique archive containing records of National Police activities during Guatemala’s civil war. Discovered in 2005, and just opened to academic researchers this year, the archive contains approximately 8 million documents recording police behavior during the most violent period of the conflict, 1975-1985. The anticipated accomplishments are twofold. First, the study will identify patterns of bureaucratic interaction that lead states to violate the human rights of their citizenry. Second, the study will contribute to a broader data-gathering project designed to record the patterns of human rights abuses that took place during Guatemala's civil war.