Re-Evaluating Community Policing in a Polycentric System

19 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2015 Last revised: 12 Aug 2015

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Jayme S. Lemke

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Liya Palagashvili

State University of New York (SUNY) - Purchase College, Department of Economics

Date Written: July 24, 2015

Abstract

Elinor Ostrom and her colleagues in The Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University in Bloomington conducted fieldwork in metropolitan police departments across the United States. Their finding in support of community policing dealt a blow to the popular belief that consolidation and centralization of services was the only way to effectively provide citizens with public goods. However, subsequent empirical literature suggests that the widespread implementation of community policing has been generally ineffective and in many ways unsustainable. We argue that the failures are the result of strategic interplay between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that has resulted in the prioritization of federal over community initiatives, the militarization of domestic police, and the erosion of genuine community-police partnerships.

Keywords: Polycentricity, community policing, public goods, militarization of police, federal aid

JEL Classification: H41, H76, H77

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Lemke, Jayme S. and Palagashvili, Liya, Re-Evaluating Community Policing in a Polycentric System (July 24, 2015). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 15-40. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2635646 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2635646

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Jayme S. Lemke

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

4400 University Drive, PPE 1A1
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Liya Palagashvili (Contact Author)

State University of New York (SUNY) - Purchase College, Department of Economics ( email )

735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
United States

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