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Regieren durch (Un-)Sicherheit? Die Funktion der Polizei im Kontext beschränkter Staatlichkeit in Mexiko

Markus-Michael Müller

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Governing by (In-)Security? The Role of the Police in the Context of limited Statehood in Mexico.

One of the most neglected aspects on the current debates on the limited reach of statehood in Latin America is the role of the police forces. By avoiding a view that analyses the (mis)behaviour of this institution simply in terms of dis-functionality, this article tries to demonstrate that in the case of Mexico the seemingly „defective“ nature of the police forces contributes to a „positive“ outcome: In a political system overdetermined by the interaction of central and peripheral political forces, the relative autonomy and factionalism of the police allows this institution to adopt itself to the dynamic results of the negotiation processes between these forces and even to function as an articulation channel within them. The overall results of this situation are the maintenance of the structural stability of the Mexican form of statehood and the production of insecurity by the politically tolerated acts of police abuses for the majority of the Mexican population.