Marginality, (in)security and political participation in conflict and beyond

Cancelled! Rescheduled to Thursday 5 December, 12pm.

Marginality and insecurity have long been loosely twined together in Colombia, especially within the context of conflict. The 2016 Havana Peace Accord was heralded for ending America’s longest internal armed conflict and creating an opportunity to confront high rates of marginality and insecurity through an ambitious comprehensive agreement that made explicit the need for peaceful political participation to build sustainable peace. Yet the initial accord was defeated in plebiscite, an anti-accord president was elected in 2018, and implementation of key points has been slow. At the same time, armed actors are (re)forming and mutating, and illicit economies and corruption continue to mark the everyday realities of marginalised groups. After mapping marginality conceptually, geographically and socially, and showing its interaction with conflict and insecurity in Colombia, this ongoing research project will examine whether rates and modes of participation are changing and what these may reveal about trends in marginalisation and (in)security.

Daire McGill’s research is primarily focussed on the contribution of local communities in the Colombian-Venezuelan border region to creating contextually appropriate security-related policies and practices. This examines both how security is understood and solutions proposed at the local level, and the extent to which local knowledges influence the overall security architecture through interactions at municipal, departmental, and national level. A second research strand is on the changing political and security perceptions of Venezuelan citizens over the last fifteen years.

Dáire holds a PhD from the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University, having previously received a BA in Latin American Studies from the University of Liverpool and an MSc in Globalisation and Development from the University of London. His PhD operationalised the theoretical framework of Transformative Justice in a Structural Violence Reduction Matrix (SVRM), an analytical tool to evaluate the transformative potential of public policy initiatives – across their diagnostic, process, and outcome dimensions – undertaken in transitional contexts. The SVRM was applied to rural initiatives in Colombia, providing empirical insights into the characteristics necessary for initiatives to address structural violence as well as the weaknesses of transitional justice approaches.

His work has appeared most recently in publications of the International State Crime Initiative and the Routledge Transitional Justice series.

A sandwich lunch will be served at 12.45.