Rio’s Pacification: Paradigm Shift or Paradigm Maintenance?

Reviewing the pacification literature, this paper exposes a mismatch between contemporary understandings of causes and drivers of urban violence and the methodological approaches applied to assess the success of pacification in the case of Rio de Janeiro. It argues that contemporary quantitative accounts of changes in violence indicators associated with Rio’s pacification are limited either to community case studies or the aggregate city level. This study generates new evidence on the merits and drawbacks of Rio’s pacification by discussing issues that surround how pacification addresses and impacts inequalities in violence indicators across Rio and how this relates to the drawbacks of pacification.