Redefined, Repackaged and Redeployed: Diffusion of Citizen Security by the Inter-American Development Bank

Šárka Kolmašová, Arlene Beth Tickner

Research output: Chapter in Book/ReportChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The chapter traces the emergence and diffusion of citizen security in the Americas, which represents an interesting case of hemispheric norm transfer. Citizen security evolved as an alternative paradigm to state-centric, militarized security doctrines that were prevalent across Latin America until the 1980s. The idea has roots in broader multidimensional approaches advocated by policymakers, academics, private sector representatives, diplomats, and foreign governments in the context of post-Cold war democratization and in the specific case of Central America, efforts to build peace (Tickner 2016; Muggah 2017; Chinchilla and Vorndran 2018). While initially rooted in the need to safeguard the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms, to establish civilian control over the military, and to protect individuals from diverse threats to their well-being as three related components of a democratic form of security, at the onset of the twenty-first century rising levels of violence and crime led to a narrowing in which citizen security became tantamount to enhancing state capacities to combat violent and non-violent crimes against civilians (Dammert 2007; Ungar 2011). Initially developed in Latin America, the concept was mainstreamed by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, Organization of American States, and most recently by the Inter-American Development Bank. The chapter critically analyzes how the concept was appropriated, repackaged, and then redeployed through development policies back to the Global South
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNorm Diffusion Beyond the West
EditorsŠárka Kolmašová , Ricardo Reboredo
Place of PublicationSuiza
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-25009-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-25011-8
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations


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