Jessie Bullock, Ph.D. Candidate in Government, Harvard University
Frances Hagopian, Jorge Paulo Lemann Senior Lecturer on Government, Harvard University
Ignacio Cano, Professor of Sociology, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro;
Ben Lessing, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
Why do politicians cooperate peacefully with organized criminal groups? Interactions between organized criminal groups and politicians are often either depicted as coercive or where the politician is a member of the criminal group. Using mixed-methods research on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this project shows that there is a third explanation for cooperation: politicians willingly engage with organized criminal groups at arms-length when it is in their electoral interest to seek out these arrangements and when they have a low chance of being caught.