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A distant reality? Democratic policing in Argentina and Brazil

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Two decades after Argentina and Brazil emerged from repressive military rule, democratic controls over the state's instruments of coercion remain tenuous. This article argues that, notwithstanding obvious differences between the two countries, they share a common nucleus of problems that have shaped similar state responses to public insecurity, and that continue to hinder the development of the police into a professional, accountable and universal public service. After examining the historical, social and political roots that led to the extreme politicization of the police during authoritarian rule, the article highlights the factors that have negatively affected police governance and the institutionalization of checks and balances since the restoration of electoral democracy. The article concludes that the similarities found between the Argentine and Brazilian cases carry disturbing implications for the prospects of democratic consolidation in Latin America as a whole.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/23755/

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