Gun Violence, Gun Proliferation, and Security Governance

  • Diego Sanjurjo
Part of the International Series on Public Policy book series (ISPP)


This chapter addresses the Latin American security crisis and the role that guns and their owners play in these dynamics. Crime and violence have increased sharply in recent decades and turned into the main problems in the region. Guns are the preferred weapon of choice to commit murders and their use as murder weapons is more frequent than anywhere else. This chapter finds that the relationship between gun proliferation and gun murders is not linear, but that there are important correlations that suggest that gun violence is driving high murder rates in most countries. Moreover, it is not the sheer number of guns in circulation but the social context in which gun owners are embedded that has an impact on the rates of murder. The analysis concludes that Latin American states face a combination of risk factors and institutional limitations that hinder their capacities to regulate armed citizens and guide their behavior. As a result, gun owners play different roles within the governance of security and are better conceptualized as nodes in a nodal governance model, which supposes an autonomous participation in the provision of security.


Gun violence Latin America Homicides Security governance Gun proliferation 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego Sanjurjo
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Political ScienceUniversity of the Republic (UdelaR)MontevideoUruguay

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