Jason Bartholomew Scott
Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationBeloit College
Grant numberGr. 10272
Approve DateApril 13, 2022
Project TitleScott, Jason (Beloit College) "The Politics of Failure: A Collaborative "Postmortem" of Rio de Janeiro's Favela Pacification Policy"
As the 2016 Olympics approached, a community policing program dubbed pacificação (pacification) was praised for formalizing Rio de Janeiro’s informal favelas (shantytowns), mobilizing billions of dollars in social development funds, and destabilizing violent crime. However, favela residents, police, and politicians considered pacification a failure after street-level shootouts led to the death of innocent civilians. Considering the collapse of pacification policy (2008-2018), this project asks how culturally informed values, beliefs, and practices inspire expressions of political failure? How do concepts of failure change over time, place, and social position? And, how can collaborative ethnographic methodologies center community-based researchers and better contextualize policy critiques made by academics, corporate media, and politicians? To answer these questions, this project organizes three favela-born researchers in a collaborative and action-oriented “postmortem” of pacification policy. The team will conduct three week-long workshops, annotate 400 scholarly articles about pacification, and interview 85 favela residents, politicians, police, and drug dealers. Historical and global research regarding community policing, failure, and pacification often prioritizes the narratives of policymakers and politicians while overlooking the role of local observers. This project provides an action-oriented model for the co-analysis and co-theorization of policy failure that centers the prerogatives of community-based researchers.