‘Over, under and through the walls’: The dynamics of public security, police-community relations and the limits of managerialism in crime control in Recife, Brazil

Cavalcanti, R.P. 2017. ‘Over, under and through the walls’: The dynamics of public security, police-community relations and the limits of managerialism in crime control in Recife, Brazil. PhD thesis King's College London Global Institutes

Title‘Over, under and through the walls’: The dynamics of public security, police-community relations and the limits of managerialism in crime control in Recife, Brazil
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsCavalcanti, R.P.
Abstract

This dissertation contributes to Brazilian public security studies from the perspective of critical criminology. It examines public experiences of insecurity and the social impacts of security programmes that aim to address violence in one Brazilian city: Recife. Between 1982 and 2007, Recife had one of the highest homicide rates in Brazil. Between 2008 and 2012, homicide rates declined in Recife in tandem with the implementation of a public security intervention entitled Pacto pela Vida or Pact for Life (PPV). However, few studies have examined this programme, the relations between urban marginalised communities and the public security system in Recife, or how the daily experiences of the urban poor in Recife are affected by violence and public security provision. This dissertation addresses this gap in the literature drawing on ethnographic methods to examine existing interactions between residents of low-income communities and institutions of the public security system, especially the police and the prison. The research is based on data gathered through interviews, observations, focus groups and secondary sources, such as official data about levels of incarceration and homicide. It poses questions about the social effects of existing security policies, arguing that the emulation of mainstream criminological theories of crime control from the Global North produces large-scale perverse effects in the context of countries of the Global South. The findings are based on interviews with the police and data gathered in two low-income communities, one of which is located around a large prison. The data show that managerial police reforms and security programmes have not addressed long-standing issues of sexism, racism, classism and brutalising training in the police force. Moreover, through the increasing use of policing and hyper-incarceration as methods of crime control, security programmes have failed to inhibit diverse forms of violent and organised crime and exacerbated existing inequalities affecting the most marginalised populations.

KeywordsViolence; public security; inequality; prison; police; Brazil.
Year2017
FilePhD Thesis - RP Cavalcanti 2017 - KCL.pdf

Related outputs

Marginalised youth, violence and policing: a qualitative study in Recife, Brazil
Cavalcanti, R.P. 2019. Marginalised youth, violence and policing: a qualitative study in Recife, Brazil. in: Tsekeris, C. and Stylianoudi, L. (ed.) Youths in Challenging Situations: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives Routledge.

Gender and pregnancy in the field: Autobiographical reflections on gendered aspects of researching security in Brazil
Cavalcanti, R.P. 2017. Gender and pregnancy in the field: Autobiographical reflections on gendered aspects of researching security in Brazil. Gender in the Field. King's College London 13 - 13 Jun 2016 Gender Studies Network.

Marginalised youth, violence and policing: A qualitative study in Recife, Brazil
Cavalcanti, R.P. 2017. Marginalised youth, violence and policing: A qualitative study in Recife, Brazil. Contemporary Social Science. 12 (3-4), pp. 227-241. doi:10.1080/21582041.2017.1384049

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Cavalcanti, R.P. 2017. How Brazil’s far right became a dominant political force. Conversation Trust (UK) Limited.

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Cavalcanti, R.P. 2017. Armed violence and the politics of gun control in Brazil: an analysis of the 2005 referendum. Bulletin of Latin American Research. 36 (1), pp. 36-51. doi:10.1111/blar.12476

Edge of a barrel: Gun violence and the politics of gun control in Brazil
Cavalcanti, R. P. 2013. Edge of a barrel: Gun violence and the politics of gun control in Brazil. British Society of Criminology Newsletter. 72 (summer), pp. 11-14.

Beyond ‘infernos’ or ‘paradises’: the politics of precariousness
Goldsmith, C. and Cavalcanti, R.P. 2013. Beyond ‘infernos’ or ‘paradises’: the politics of precariousness. Criminal Justice Matters. 93 (1), pp. 14-15. doi:10.1080/09627251.2013.833758

Riotous connections?
Cavalcanti, R.P., Goldsmith, C., Measor, L. and Squires, P. 2012. Riotous connections? Criminal Justice Matters. 87 (1), pp. 34-35. doi:10.1080/09627251.2012.671015

Youth and Community: Connections and Disconnections
Cavalcanti, R. P., Goldsmith, C., Lea, J., Measor, L., Squires, P. and Wolff, D. 2011. Youth and Community: Connections and Disconnections. AHRC website

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