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Policing Democracy

Overcoming Obstacles to Citizen Security in Latin America

Mark Ungar

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Winner of the Charles H. Levine Memorial Book Prize of the International Political Science Association

Latin America’s crime rates are astonishing by any standard—the region’s homicide rate is the world’s highest. This crisis continually traps governments between the need for comprehensive reform and the public demand for immediate action, usually meaning iron-fisted police tactics harking back to the repressive pre-1980s dictatorships.

In Policing Democracy, Mark Ungar situates Latin America at a crossroads between its longstanding form of reactive policing and a problem-oriented approach…

Winner of the Charles H. Levine Memorial Book Prize of the International Political Science Association

Latin America’s crime rates are astonishing by any standard—the region’s homicide rate is the world’s highest. This crisis continually traps governments between the need for comprehensive reform and the public demand for immediate action, usually meaning iron-fisted police tactics harking back to the repressive pre-1980s dictatorships.

In Policing Democracy, Mark Ungar situates Latin America at a crossroads between its longstanding form of reactive policing and a problem-oriented approach based on prevention and citizen participation. Drawing on extensive case studies from Argentina, Bolivia, and Honduras, he reviews the full spectrum of areas needing reform: criminal law, policing, investigation, trial practices, and incarceration.

Finally, Policing Democracy probes democratic politics, power relations, and regional disparities of security and reform to establish a framework for understanding the crisis and moving beyond it.

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Policing Democracy

Mark Ungar

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Reviews

An extraordinarily thorough analysis.

Through impressively detailed case studies of the criminal justice systems and attempts at reform in Honduras, Bolivia, and Argentina, [Ungar] provides us with a much-needed understanding of what police in Latin America are doing—not, as he points out, just what the police are doing wrong... He offers some very interesting, well-researched, and innovative ways in which discretion can be integrated into both training and reforms.

Very few scholars in the field have the grasp of recent changes in and problems of systems of citizen security in Latin America that this author has. His vision is comprehensive, extending from policing to the judiciary to the prison system.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
416
ISBN
9780801898587
Illustration Description
2 maps, 6 figures
Table of Contents

List of Figures, Maps, and Tables
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Preface
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Realms of Change and Obstacles to Citizen Security Reform
Chapter 3. Citizen Security and Democracy
Ch

List of Figures, Maps, and Tables
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Preface
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Realms of Change and Obstacles to Citizen Security Reform
Chapter 3. Citizen Security and Democracy
Chapter 4. Honduras
Chapter 5. Bolivia
Chapter 6. Argentina
Chapter 7. Overcoming Obstacles to Reform
Chapter 8. Conclusion
Appendix A: National Homicide Rates, 1995–2009
Appendix B: Citizen Security Structures and Police Ranks
Glossary
References
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Mark Ungar

Mark Ungar is a professor of political science and criminal justice at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is author of Policing Democracy: Overcoming Obstacles to Citizen Security in Latin America.