Kai Enno Lehmann

Honduras as a Complex Adaptive System and What It Means for the European Union – The Case of Violence

GIGA Working Paper, No. 294, December 2016

This paper assesses why the various initiatives undertaken by the European Union in Honduras have not had the desired impact of reducing the extraordinary levels of violence in the country. The hypothesis put forward is that the EU’s approach to the issue of violence has been unsuccessful because it does not match the complexity of the problem encountered. As an alternative, the paper puts forward complexity and human systems dynamics as conceptual frameworks for reinterpreting the issue of violence. It shows that violence is one of the results of an incoherent process of self‐organisation which marks Honduras and suggests ways of influencing the conditions that make up this pattern in order to address the problem of violence. It also outlines what this new approach would mean for the actions and policies proposed and implemented by the European Union.

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Prof. Dr. Kai Enno Lehmann is a lecturer at the Institute of International Relations of the University of São Paulo in Brazil and an associate researcher at the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies. He obtained his PhD from – and worked at – the University of Liverpool in the UK, and in 2007 he moved to Brazil, where he taught at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro (PUC‐Rio) before moving to São Paulo in 2011. His main research focus is regionalism in Europe and Latin America, including the role of regionalism in addressing security issues such as violence.

Recent Publications by the Authors

Kai Enno Lehmann

Can Brazil Lead? The Breakdown of Brazilian Foreign Policy and What it Means for the Region

Rising Powers Quarterly, 2, 2017, 2, 125-147