El gobierno de "la juventud en riesgo" y los programas de prevención social del delito en el AMBA : entre la seguridad y la inclusión


Kessler, Gabriel
Llobet, Valeria

Temporal Coverage





320 p.


Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 2.0 Genérica (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)




Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (autonomus city)
Buenos Aires (province)


This thesis deals with the government of "at-risk youth" and focuses on social crime prevention programs located in a a space of regulation intermediate to strategies involving rights protection and penal justice control.

The research analyzes the government of the so-called at-risk youth in a global context in which the existence of a "new culture of crime control" has been agreed during the last three decades (Garland, 2005), and has changed the understanding of crime and its management. This transformation is part of broad changes in the way of understanding and governing social phenomena (Rose, 1996), which pose new dynamics of individuation focused on demands for accountability and individual activation for managing everyday life, their harshnesses and risks. In this new scenario, states assign their resources prioritizing groups of individuals who cannot meet the requirements on their own, through what is known as "individual policies" (Merklen, 2013).

Within this context, this thesis proposes looking at a problem that is not new - state concern about the participation of young people, especially males, in urban crime- but acknowledges, by recovering almost centennial experiences such as social crime-prevention, some rationales that reconfigure social government and the role of the individual. This way, imbricated logics belonging to welfare and crime control systems appear, represented by the increasing incorporation of conditional cash transfers (CCT), typically a component of social policy, to social crime prevention programs.

For the analysis of the problem whe appeal to the feminist approach to look at the state; this involves considering both redistributive and recognition dimensions, the latter as an interpreter of needs (Fraser, 1991). Furthermore, whe adopted a definition that considers state as a complex, layered, fragmented and not necessarily coherent entity, in which it is possible to discern processes of conflict, disputes and negotiations (Haney, 1996) involving the governed within specific positions of class, gender and age. Finally, the analysis attended that social crime prevention policies are covered with an inherent tension by serving security objectives while ensuring the social inclusion of the new generations.

The general hypothesis that guided this research is that the form adopted by government of at risk youth programs of social crime prevention in Argentina can point out some peculiarities in the hegemonic global trend. Local programs for crime prevention would be characterized by a strong
tolerance to failure of individual accountability requirements and activation of beneficiaries and one could notice: a) the enabling of alternate meanings regarding money given in the form of CCT, as part of a redefinition of conditionalities, as well as interpretations of social inclusion and risk, b) reregistration of the individual responsibility requirement in a context of multiple responsibilities c) a discussion of the alleged incoherence and negative potential of the pair activation-dependency. The tolerance that would characterize the Argentine model would not be without rigorous procedures of social control, especially in the moral dimension of subjectivity, and would entail significant consequences for age, gender and social class related aspects of beneficiaries.

The research is an instrumental case study, which could also be considered as an extended case. The main observation case is the social crime prevention program “Comundades Vulnerables“, though data from other cases of observation were analyzed, for a better understanding of the former. Data acquisition techniques were participant observation and in-depth interviews. Field records for 84 visits to program implementations (mostly “Comunidades Vulnerables”), evidence produced in 27 interviews, and program documents were analyzed with an ethnographic perspective. Furthermore, secondary sources from international and academic organizations were analyzed to outline an overall global state of knowledge.

The thesis is structured as follows: after the introduction, chapter 1 presents the construction of the research problem, divided into three sections: the state, the social policies and how to approach its study; juvenile crime management and prevention of social crime by means of CCT; and youth: age, gender and class. Chapter 2 presents an overview, in the form of a theoretical model, which explains the changes in the ways of understanding youth crime from state management, from its emergence to current forms: in particular, to the rediscovery of crime prevention. In the third chapter we propose different models ("debt”, "opportunity" and "tolerance") for the current state management of at-risk youth internationally, we describe the emergence of crime prevention in Argentina, and we introduce the "Comunidades Vulnerables" and other programs that complement the analysis. The fourth chapter discusses the institutional interpretations on strategies for social crime prevention, and shows the importance of figures such as the agreement on life´s project and institutional support. The fifth chapter is metaphorically located at the "door" of the programs and analyzes the way that money provided as CCT has on crime prevention strategies, both for programs and for beneficiaries. The sixth chapter identifies and analyzes the ways in which the young people are suited and resist State interpellation, and how, finally, it is a form of "tolerant" government, which gives particularistic forms and produces a set of "strengthenedly subordinate " subjectivities of age and gender, based on the positions young people take about risks. The result of the intervention scheme shows a complex picture that combines dependence forms with activation requirements and individual accountability. Questions about the reasons for that "tolerance" invite to dive, in the last chapter of the work, into some biographical trajectories for which the "Comunidades Vulnerables" was intended to impact. Finally, we offer general conclusions.

Table Of Contents


Aspectos metodológicos y materiales analizados
La estrategia
Las técnicas
Casos de observación
Etapas del trabajo de campo
Estructura de la tesis
Una propuesta, en forma de pirámide invertida, para mirar el problema

CAPÍTULO 1. La construcción del problema
El Estado, las políticas sociales y el modo de abordar su estudio
La gestión del crimen juvenil y la prevención social del delito con TCI
Juventudes: edad, género y clase
De la construcción del problema a la primera "capa" del Estado

CAPÍTULO 2. La prevención social del delito juvenil: explicaciones sobre su re descubrimiento.
La invención de la delincuencia y la fe en la rehabilitación del welfare penal
La crisis general de la racionalidad welfarista
Las discusiones sobre los riesgos en la era "pos social"
Los requerimientos de la nueva época: nuevos sujetos y formas de gobierno
La crisis del welfare penal
La nueva cultura del control del crimen y la re emergencia de la prevención del delito
La prevención situacional/ambiental
La prevención social del delito
Lejos de un paradigma homogéneo
La prevención del delito juvenil en el marco de la racionalidad "neoliberal"
Racionalidades divergentes y agendas mixtas

CAPÍTULO 3. Las tendencias globales en la gestión de la juventud en riesgo: un contexto para pensar el caso argentino
El problema global
Los modelos de gobierno de la juventud en riesgo
Escenario para HNO
Escenario para AL
La política penal desde la restauración democrática y la emergencia de la prevención social del delito juvenil
El Programa Comunidades Vulnerables
La prevención del delito por fuera de la criminología: el discurso de derechos
Hacia una apertura al campo

CAPÍTULO 4. Los supuestos que guían las gestiones: interpretaciones de operadores/as y funcionarios
Vulnerabilidad, inclusión institucional y inclusión social
Hacia la inclusión: los roles del Estado y sus limitaciones
La identificación de factores de riesgo en los programas para jóvenes
El contexto de vulnerabilidad y la imposibilidad de gestar un proyecto de vida
Factores de riesgo "externos"
Factores de riesgo "mixtos"
Factores de riesgo "esenciales" y esencialmente, de género
La gestión institucional de los riesgos, a partir de las necesidades interpretadas como legítimas
El acompañamiento
El proyecto de vida y la activación
Una propuesta de acompañamiento para el proyecto de vida

CAPÍTULO 5. Entre la zanahoria y el régimen de las tres platas: las TCI como factor de protección de riesgo
La justificación del dinero en efectivo
Vulnerabilidad económica y la alternancia de dineros
Un estímulo a la participación
El doble filo de la entrega del dinero
Los usos del dinero
¿Quién merece el dinero? La configuración individual de la TCI
El potencial instructivo de las TCI
El valor de la TCI: entre la zanahoria transitoria y la regularidad de la tercera plata
La razón de los pagos
El subsidio terapéutico como protección de riesgos

CAPÍTULO 6. La construcción de un gobierno tolerante: la activación esperada y sus controversias
Entregarse al acompañamiento y la instrucción: la importancia de hablar de sí mismo
Revisar el pasado
Evaluar el presente
La proyección del futuro
Las controversias de la "terapia"
Las consecuencias de los sentidos contestados
Posiciones de los y las beneficiarios/as frente al riesgo, y consecuentes subordinaciones
A la batalla se vuelve acompañado. Activación y responsabilidad individual, con dependencia.

CAPÍTULO 7. Las personas detrás de las categorías. O las historias de Humberto, Horacio, Mariano, Juan, Alicia y Silvina, y su paso por el Programa.

Los resultados
Las particularidades locales
La tolerancia y sus costos
Las nuevas preguntas hacia la investigación
El interrogante político
Algunas reflexiones finales


De la obtención y análisis de los datos
De mi entrada al campo
Caracterización del barrio y la población
Los/as jóvenes beneficiarios/as

Información adicional sobre gestiones en países de HNO
Información adicional sobre gestiones en países de AL

Título obtenido

Doctora de la Universidad de Buenos Aires en Ciencias Sociales

Institución otorgante

Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Sociales

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