UCL Institute of the Americas


No Safe Haven: Operation Condor and Transnational Repression in South America

17 April 2024

Read Dr Francesca Lessa's latest article in International Studies Quarterly

Photograph of Dr Francesa Lessa

Dr Francesca Lessa's latest article (co-authored with Lorena Balardini) looks at transnational repression. Transnational repression occurs when a state targets refugees and dissidents beyond its borders. This is a relatively understudied subject in international relations.
This research analyses why states act together to persecute political opponents abroad. Francesca and Lorena identify, lay out explanations for variations in such practices, and argue that states are likely to collaborate when: (1) there is an external threat to regime security and survival; (2) states share similar ideologies and forms of government; and (3) one or more countries promote cooperation efforts. They then use the case study of Operation Condor in the 1970s to test their theory.