hero image
Rebecca Hanson - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Rebecca Hanson

Assistant Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Rebecca Hanson conducts research on participatory democratic neighborhood experiments and police militarization.


Rebecca Hanson is an assistant professor for the Center for Latin American Studies. She has conducted research on participatory democratic neighborhood experiments, socialist ideology in Venezuela, civilian police reform, police militarization and its impacts on organized crime, and the effects of police-community meetings on citizen attitudes and police behavior. Rebecca's other area of research analyzes sexual harassment and ethnographic fieldwork.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Venezuelan Politics


Political Theory

Latin American Studies

Citizen Security and Policing

Poverty and Inequality

Venezuelan Economy

Media Appearances (5)

Bouncy Castles and Grenades: Gangs Erode Maduro’s Grip on Caracas

The New York Times  online


“Maduro is often seen as a traditional strongman controlling every aspect of Venezuelans’ lives,” said Rebecca Hanson, a sociologist at the University of Florida who studies violence in Venezuela. “In reality, the state has become very fragmented, very chaotic and in many areas very weak.”

view more

What the US Sanctions Against Venezuela Have Wrought

Jacobin  online


In early August, the Trump administration ramped up economic sanctions on Venezuela, freezing foreign assets and blocking companies from doing business with the Maduro government. As was to be expected, the executive order was accompanied by grandstanding by members of the Trump administration who argued that the move would “accelerate a peaceful democratic transition.”

view more

Venezuela at Another Crossroads

NACLA  online


Thousands of protestors in the streets. A self-proclaimed president. An uncertain political future. Venezuela has been here before.

view more

Behind the scenes of Venezuela’s deadly prison fire

UF News  online


A UF sociologist suggest that the story behind a fire that filled 66 inmates at a Venezuelan jail in March and resulted in a deadly riot may be more complex – and scarier – than what news stories portrayed.

view more

Behind the scenes of Venezuela’s deadly prison fire

The Conversation  online


A fire killed scores of inmates after a riot in a Venezuelan jail in the early morning hours of March 28. Sixty-six detainees died in the flames, as did two female visitors.

view more


Articles (4)

From carceral punitivism to systematic killing: The necropolitics of policing in post-Chávez Venezuela

Violence: An International Journal

Rebecca Hanson, Veronica Zubillaga


Since 2017, state security forces in Venezuela have been responsible for over 20% of violent deaths in the country. This represents an unprecedented period of state repression in the country’s history that demands examination. In this article, we argue that in order to understand the recent increase in violent deaths in Venezuela during the post-Chávez period, we must place at the center of our analysis the discourses and practices of an extremely privileged actor, the state, in the context of the collapse of oil prices.

view more

Acosadas en terreno: El género, la raza, la nación y la construcción del conocimiento etnográfico

Polis. Revista Latinoamericana

Rebecca Hanson


Sexual harassment and sexualization are common experiences for women researchers as they conduct fieldwork. Yet, these topics are rarely mentioned in books and classes on qualitative methods. This article, based on interviews with qualitative researchers (47 women and nine men) from the North American academy, criticizes the silence around sexual harassment in the field.

view more

Popularity Contests Deepen Venezuela’s Deadly Stalemate

NACLA Report on the Americas

Rebecca Hanson


Perhaps the most significant role played by the 2016-2021 National Assembly was providing a platform for Juan Guaidó to rise from obscurity to the international spotlight. Guaidó, a National Assembly representative and relatively unknown political figure from the Voluntad Popular party, became president of the legislative body at the beginning of 2019.

view more

Perceptions of Police Corruption in Medellín


Eric Arias, et al.


Conventional wisdom holds that police corruption is a scourge across Latin America, undermining citizens’ trust in and collaboration with police officers. We find that this does not describe police-community relations in Medellín. Using original survey data in Medellín, we find perceptions of police corruption are only weakly correlated with perceptions of police quality along other dimensions.

view more



Rebecca Hanson Publication



loading image


Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Rebecca Hanson