Melany Cruz

The political dimensions of violence: understanding lynching in Mexico

Supervisors: Dr Laura Jenkins and Professor Christopher Finlay 

Melany Cruz is undertaking doctoral research on the political aspects of the phenomenon of lynching in Mexico. Arguing through critical theory and the theory of political violence, she is asking if these recurrent violent actions can be explained through the conceptualization of crowd violence, revolutionary violence and the spectacle of violence, which are all traditional philosophical concepts which have not been attributed to these type of events.

She also has three years of teaching experience in the Department of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Birmingham, working as a GTA on three different modules: Politics as a Vocation (2015-2016), Analysing Political World (2016-2017) and Classic Political Thought (2016-2018).


Melany Cruz studied Sociology in her country, Chile, in 2006-2010 graduating with a distinction. After a few years working as a research and teaching assistant for different universities in the country, she was awarded in 2013 with a Master Scholarship by CONICYT (Becas Chile en el extranjero), which allowed her to complete an MA in Political Science and Research Methods at the University of Birmingham. This degree gave her the opportunity to convene modules in a university in Santiago de Chile during 2015. She returned to Birmingham to undertake a PhD in Political Science and International Studies (2015-2019) with a new scholarship awarded by the same governmental institution (Becas Chile en el extranejero). 


  • BA Sociology (Universidad de Valparaiso, Chile), MA Political Science and Research Methods (University of Birmingham)

Research interests

Critical Political Theory, Political Violence, Decolonial theory, Latin America


Journal Papers

Cruz, Melany (2015) Repensando el concepto de terrorismo, Apuntes de Investigación del CECYP, Vol. 26: 179-189. 

Silva, Carmen; KronMuller, Catalina; Cruz, Melany; Riffo, Ignacio (2015) Empoderamiento en el Movimiento Estudiantil durante 2011 y 2012 en Chile, Universitas Psychologica, Oct-Dec 2015, Vol. 14 (4): 15-25.

Book Reviews

Hegel’s Phenomenology and Foucault’s Genealogy by Evangelia Sembou (2015), Political Studies Review, November 2016; vol. 14, 4: pp. 569-570, first published on October 4, 2016.

What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought by Lewis R. Gordon (2015), Political Studies Review, November 2016; vol. 14, 4: pp. 561, first published on September 16, 2016.

Las cacerías del hombre: Historia y filosofía del poder cinegético by Grégoire Chamayou (2014), Encuentro Latinoamericano, 1 (1): 72-98, 2015.

Conference Papers

Vital, divine and liberating violence: understandings of the unleashing of lynching, presented at the Conference Dissecting violence: Structures, Imaginaries and Resistances, Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) – 4-6 April 2018

Killing outside the law in contemporary Mexico: a theoretical revision of lynching comparing with the extra-legal violence in the United States (1890-1930) presented in the panel ‘Non-Paradigmatic Punishment’ at the Manchester Centre for Political Theory Workshop, Manchester 

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