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Project Description 

How do small arms and light weapons (SALW) circulate in Latin America, between state and non-state actors and between legal and illegal spheres of activity and what are the cultural and regulatory dynamics that shape this circulation? This project tackles these questions by focusing on military-style automatic rifles. Our main goals are to: i) understand how the circulation of military-style rifles occurs within and through LatAm; ii) assess their effects on patterns of violence in the region; iii) analyze gun cultures in the region and; iv) identify the main challenges for controlling these flows. We will compose a two-layered mixed-methods approach to tackle the transnational circulation and control of military-style rifles in the region. The first layer gathers quantitative data on rifle flows over the last decade and qualitative data on related sociocultural and gendered perspectives (e.g., the emergence of gun cultures) and on their political economy. The second layer investigates the adoption and implementation of international, regional, and national norms on SALW in LatAm and their policy impacts.


This project is funded through a grant from the Swiss Network of International Studies (SNIS). 


August 2023- August 2025