Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in Political Science

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Gregory J. Love

Second Advisor

Gang Guo

Third Advisor

Alice Cooper

Abstract

Latin American region has transitioned to democracy in the last forty-thirty years and along with many policy reforms, citizen security has not been left behind. As these changes evolve, the relationship between internal security and the development of a stable democracy has acquired a great importance in terms of the factors that contribute to a free world. The purpose of this research is to look at how security policy and policing in Argentina, Chile, el Salvador, and Mexico have contributed to the democratization process in regards to how the recent reforms in law enforcement in the region have created favorable conditions towards democracy. First, this paper focuses on establishing the relationship between internal security and democratization, moving forward to the role of law enforcement in the demilitarization trend in the region and the world on the transition to democracy. After briefly covering some socio economic indicators of Latin America, this inquiry applies an original demilitarization scale of law enforcement to the citizen security institutions in the countries mentioned above. This is the first empirical measurement of law enforcement demilitarization for countries in Latin America. The empirical design tests whether demilitarization of internal security affects individuals' diffusive democracy support and police institutions' specific democratization or, on the contrary, there is no effect what so ever. The findings show support for the main hypothesis that individuals from countries with more demilitarized police support in greater scale democratic regimes; individuals from countries perceived as less corrupted were shown to trust police institutions greater than those from countries more corrupted; finally, individuals that have had any crime interaction, whether themselves or through a relative, showed less trust rates in police institutions.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.