Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Sukari Ivester

Second Advisor

Mehment Odekon


The sports mega-events of the past decade – most prominently the 2016 Olympic Games – spurred intense urban development in Brasil. This is most specifically true of Rio de Janeiro, which hosted the Olympics. These events were seen as an opportunity to make large public investments in improving many of Rio’s favelas – the city’s famously marginalized and “informal” housing settlements. This paper examines improvements made and/or attempted in Rocinha, the largest settlement of its kind in South America. It looks critically at the intersection of development and security. In the scheme of Olympic development, the latter permits the former. Despite the appearance of progress and good will, however, this form of development continues the long history of neglect and segregation of favelas. Residents of Rocinha, long accustomed to state neglect and disregard, practice forms of resistance that are both explicit and subtle. Through this resistance, they demand and claim citizenship and the rights that it provides.