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Police Reform and Police Violence

Book Manuscript:

My book project focuses on understanding how changes in the police in two key dimensions (militarization and accountability) in the aftermath of internal violent conflict can contribute to the reduction of police and criminal violence. I posit that relatively militarized police have a higher propensity to use violence, regardless of their accountability level, which increases criminal violence as a response. I test my theoretical propositions on a sample of 52 post-conflict countries for the period 1985-2015. The results reveal that militarization is a powerful driver of police violence, whereas accountability only reduces police violence at low levels of militarization. To explore the causal mechanisms underpinning my argument, I conducted field work in South Africa in 2015 and 2017.

Peer Reviewed Publications:

"Mall Cop or Robocop? Political Determinants of Police Militarization in Brazil," with Juan Albarracin, Political Research Quarterly (forthcoming)

"Police reform in the aftermath of armed conflict: How militarization and accountability affect police violence," OnlineFirst, Journal of Peace Research, 2023 . Open access.

"Dilemmas of Substitution: Why the urban poor support punitive policing in a Latin American city,'' OnlineFirst, with Veronica Perez Bentancur, Journal of Urban Affairs, Special Issue on Policing in the 21st Century, 2022. 

Transitional Justice and Criminal Violence

Why do some countries exhibit very high levels of criminal violence following a transition to democracy whereas others do not? Combining quantitative analyses with qualitative case studies, this collaborative project argues that countries that engaged in transitional justice processes during their democratic transitions dramatically changed their future trends in criminal violence by removing, exposing, and punishing perpetrators from the security apparatus (with Guillermo Trejo and Juan Albarracín):

Peer Reviewed Publications:

"Breaking State Impunity in Authoritarian Regimes"  Journal of Peace Research, 55(6):787-809, 2018.

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