Edgar Franco-Vivanco, Beatriz Magaloni, and Vanessa Melo Receive the 2021 Heinz I. Eulau Award, American Political Science Review

The Heinz I. Eulau Award is presented annually by the American Political Science Association (APSA) to honor the best article published in the APSA journal, American Political Science Review.  

Edgar Franco-Vivanco (Ph.D. 2020, Stanford) is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan. His research interests include Latin America, historical political economy, criminal violence, policing, and indigenous politics. He is working on a book project about how indigenous people resisted and adapted to colonialism. His research on modern-day violence examines how criminal groups interact with the state and society, particularly how these groups respond to police interventions.

Beatriz Magaloni is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University. She is also the director of the Poverty, Violence, and Governance Lab. Most of her current work focuses on state repression, police, human rights, and violence. Her first book, Voting for Autocracy published by Cambridge University Press won various awards, including the 2007 Leon Epstein Award for the Best Book published in the previous two years in the area of political parties and organizations.

Vanessa Melo is a Ph.D. student in Anthropology at UCLA and a Cota Robles Fellow. As a former Researcher and Project Manager with the Program on Poverty, Violence and Governance (PovGov) at Stanford University, she engaged in an 8-year research project on police reform and criminal violence in Rio de Janeiro.  Vanessa’s dissertation work at UCLA explores the ethical dimensions of Rio’s police officers’ behaviors and attitudes and how family, politics, religion, social norms, professional dispositions, and spaces shape and problematize their concept of ethics in relation to excessive use of force. Originally from Rio’s peripheries, Vanessa worked for over 13 years at SEBRAE/RJ – Brazil’s largest organization supporting small business development and social entrepreneurship in poor communities. She holds a Masters in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. 

Citation from the Award Committee:  

After carefully considering all articles published in the APSR during calendar year 2020, the Committee has decided to award the Heinz I. Eulau Award, APSR to “Killing in the Slums: Social Order, Criminal Governance and Police Violence in Rio de Janeiro” by Beatriz Magaloni, Edgar Franco-Vivanco and Vanessa Melo 114(2): 552-72. 

The article addresses the pressing problem of violence related to organized crime, a topic that has received less attention in political science research. It also substantially contributes to our understanding of conflict, state-building, and the impact of police interventions. The authors provide a coherent and unified theoretical framework and conceptualize five types of criminal regimes, based on whether they confront with state actors, cooperate with the community, and contest territory. Using an impressive multimethod approach, the authors draw on ethnographic research on Rio’s Pacifying Police Units, text analysis, quasi-experimental statistical analyses, and a large-N survey. The findings reveal that the nature of police interventions interact with existing contexts to shape local outcomes. Some police interventions can actually strengthen organized crime groups.  Importantly, the analyses also demonstrate those police interventions seldom focus on the needs of poor communities. 


APSA thanks Cambridge University Press for its support of the award and the committee members for their service: Miki Kittilson (Chair), Arizona State UniversityMarianne Stewart, University of Texas, Dallas: and Mike Alvarez, Caltech.