The Militarization of U.S. Domestic Policing

The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming

GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-50

34 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2012 Last revised: 1 Oct 2012

Abigail R. Hall

University of Tampa; George Mason University

Christopher J. Coyne

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 2, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Militarization, Paradox of Government, Bureaucracy, Crisis, War on Drugs, War on Terror

JEL Classification: D72, D73, H56, H10

Suggested Citation

Hall, Abigail R. and Coyne, Christopher J., The Militarization of U.S. Domestic Policing (August 2, 2012). The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming; GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-50. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2122384 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2122384

Abigail R. Hall

University of Tampa ( email )

George Mason University ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Christopher J. Coyne (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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