Sebastian Huhn

A History of Nonviolence: Insecurity and the Normative Power of the Imagined in Costa Rica

GIGA Working Paper, No. 84, August 2008

Crime, violence, and insecurity are among the most important social topics in contemporary Costa Rica. These three issues play a central role in the media, politics, and everyday life, and the impression has emerged that security has changed for the worse and that society is now threatened permanently. However, crime statistics do not support this perception. The paper thus asks why violence and crime generate such huge fear in society. The thesis is that the Costa Rican national identity—with Costa Rica constructed as a nonviolent nation—impedes a realistic discussion about the phenomena and their causes, and simultaneously provides a platform for sensationalism and the social construction of fear.

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Recent Publications by the Authors

Peter Peetz / Sebastian Huhn / Anika Oettler

Zentralamerika: Zum schwankenden Nachrichtenwert von Kriminalität in einer heterogenen Printmedienlandschaft

in: Hanno Bruchmann / Anna Dobelmann / Annika Hartmann / Aylin Kruse / Manuel Schulz / Sarah Helen Sott (eds.), Medien und Demokratie in Lateinamerika, Berlin: Karl Dietz Verlag, 2012, 200-220

Otto Argueta / Sebastian Huhn / Sabine Kurtenbach / Peter Peetz

Blocked Democracies in Central America

GIGA Focus International Edition English, 05/2011

Otto Argueta / Sebastian Huhn / Sabine Kurtenbach / Peter Peetz

Blockierte Demokratien in Zentralamerika

GIGA Focus Latin America, 10/2011