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Title: The sources of state repression
Author: Celestino, Mauricio Rivera
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 3908
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2014
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The present dissertation examines variation in state-sponsored repression amongst democratic regimes. The aim of this dissertation is three-fold: concept formation, theory development, and empirical analysis. I first develop a typology that highlights two types of government violence. Centralized repression refers to cases where state authorities order violence against people and state security agents execute that order. By contrast, decentralized repression refers to cases where state security agents deploy violence without orders from government leaders. Building on this typology, I then develop a theory about why some democracies are more repressive than others. The first claim is that shared beliefs and routines from previous autocratic regimes tend to survive among law enforcement actors, and thus newly democratized states with longer authoritarian past are more repressive. The second claim is that increasing public insecurity tends to increase citizens' support for government repression and opens windows of opportunities for non-controlled state agents that deploy repression, even without the orders from government leaders. Using global cross-national statistical analysis and case study research, I find compelling empirical evidence that authoritarian legacies and violent crime increase government repression and human rights violations in democratic regimes. Finally, the third claim is that democratic governments not only deploy repression to enhance order, but also promote welfare to mitigate violence within society. Using a sample of Latin American democracies over the period 1981-2007, the empirical results show that democratic governments respond to violent crime by increasing education spending.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available