H.A.S. (Haavar) Solheim MPhil

  • PhD-student
  • Citizen security and urban violence
  • State-civil society relations
  • Citizenship, State in security matters

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2342
E-Mail: h.a.s.solheim@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Institute for History, Latijns-Amerika studies
Office Address: Johan Huizingagebouw
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 0.14

Fields of interest

The role of the State in public security issues in Latin America
Citizen participation in security policies on national and local levels in Latin America
Political legitimacy of the Latin American State
Violence, crime and armed conflicts


Public Security, Citizen Participation and Political Legitimacy in Bogotá, Colombia, 1980-2010 

My doctoral research focuses on public security and insecurity among citizens, which today has clearly become a major issue in the question how political legitimacy affects political regimes and leaders in Latin America. The dissertation project explores the roles played by public institutions and the citizenry in the formulation and implementation of public security policies in the Colombian capital of Bogotá during the last three decades. It further aims to assess how their particular roles as well as the interaction between the actors ultimately impact on the results of jointly undertaken security measures. 

Additionally I will look into the political culture and its role in what citizens consider ‘legitimate’ and ‘illegitimate’ about State and municipal policies on public security. In that regard, the historical approach to this research will further highlight the continuities and changes in the period 1980-2010, stressing the different styles and policy orientations one can identify at the several municipal administrations of Bogotá. Parallels will be drawn between issues taking place at the local level (Bogotá) with general developments on the national scale, and at the presidential level.   

This study also aims to make a distinction between ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ levels of political legitimacy, as it refers to the reality of local governments and their role in producing political legitimacy for the entire political system. Moreover, it will provide insights in the use of participatory programs for the citizenry and how these may influence the degree of political legitimacy that municipal authorities enjoy. 

Curriculum vitae

I grew up in Norway and, after having obtained a bachelor degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies from the University of Bergen, I came to live in the Netherlands in 2006. Here I followed the research master program in Latin American and Amerindian Studies at the University of Leiden which I successfully completed with a master thesis entitled “Citizen Security, Urban Violence and Perception of Insecurity in Bogotá, Colombia”, in 2008. After my graduation, I was employed as a Business Researcher by an international risk consultancy. From April 2011, I hold a joint position as a PhD-candidate at the Institute of History/TCLA/CEDLA.

Last Modified: 10-12-2015