The Militarization of U.S. Domestic Policing
Abigail R. Hall
George Mason University
Christopher J. Coyne
George Mason University - Department of Economics
August 2, 2012
The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming
GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-50
This paper develops the political economy of the militarization of domestic policing. We analyze the mechanisms through which the “protective state” — where the government utilizes its monopoly on force to protect citizens’ rights — devolves into a “predatory state” which undermines the rights of the populace. We apply our theory to the U.S., where we trace the (failed) historical attempts to establish constraints to separate the military functions and policing functions of government. In doing so we emphasize the role of crises in the form of perpetual wars — the “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terror” — in the accelerated militarization of domestic policing.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: Militarization, Paradox of Government, Bureaucracy, Crisis, War on Drugs, War on Terror
JEL Classification: D72, D73, H56, H10
Date posted: August 2, 2012 ; Last revised: October 1, 2012
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