Dangerous ideas: at the cutting edge of our knowledge

The computational study of Mexican cartels
21 novembre 2023
Orario di inizio 
Palazzo di Sociologia - Via Verdi 26, Trento
Meeting Room, II Floor
Comunità universitaria
Ingresso libero
Gian Maria Campedelli - Fondazione Bruno Kessler


Cartels have been central actors in Mexico in the last decades, having a tremendous impact on the political, social, economic and criminal landscapes of the country – and beyond. In the past ten years, despite human losses suffered due to internal conflicts and sustained levels of incarceration, organized crime groups managed to increase violence nonetheless: in fact, Mexico is consistently ranked as one of the deadliest countries in the American continent. In our study, recently published in Science, we hence address this conceptual puzzle by presenting a computational approach intended to tackle two main goals. First, we estimate the size of the cartel population, a figure that remained so far confined to scattered approximations. Second, we simulate the impact of two primary policies in the attempt to provide data-driven recommendations for strategies intended to curb structural violence. Beyond providing results underscoring the salience and magnitude of the organized problem in the country, I also discuss the potential benefits arising from the dialogue between computational and social sciences.  


Gian Maria Campedelli is a Research Scientist in the Mobile and Social Computing Lab at Fondazione Bruno Kessler. Prior to joining FBK, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Trento. From 2016 to 2019 he worked as a research fellow at Transcrime and in 2018 he was a visiting research scholar in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He holds a PhD in Criminology from Catholic University. His research interests focus on the development and application of computational methods and causal inference to the study of complex criminal phenomena such as organized crime, terrorism and homicide. His works have appeared in Science, Nature Human Behaviour, Criminology and the Journal of Quantitative Criminology. 

C2S2 Seminars: Dangerous ideas: at the cutting edge of our knowledge

Il Center for Computational Social Sciences and Human Dynamics C2S2, istituito a settembre del 2021 con un accordo tra il Dipartimento di Sociologia e Ricerca Sociale, il Dipartimento di Economia e Management dell’Università di Trento e la Fondazione Bruno Kessler, e composto da un gruppo interdisciplinare di sociologi, informatici, economisti, statistici, psicologi sociali e comportamentali, filosofi, linguisti, umanisti con ambito di ricerca comune la computational social science e la data science.

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