The Punitive City
Privatized Policing and Protection in Neoliberal Mexico
In the eyes of the global media, modern Mexico has become synonymous with crime, violence and insecurity. But while media fascination and academic engagement has focussed on the drug war, an equally dangerous phenomenon has taken root. In The Punitive City, Markus-Michael Muller argues that what has emerged in Mexico is not just a punitive urban democracy, in which those at the social and political margins face growing violence and exclusion. More alarmingly, it would seem that clientelism in the region is morphing into a private, political protection racket.
Vital reading for anyone seeking to understand the implications of a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly widespread across Latin America.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'[A]n outstanding contribution to critical urban security studies.'
European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
`Muller offers a wealth of original and stimulating insights, including a critical exploration of the role of the transnational NGO-Foundation-Academic nexus in vernacularizing common principles of punitive urban security governance throughout the region and beyond.'
John Gledhill, author of The New War on the Poor: The Production of Insecurity in Latin America
`Muller's work on urban security is deeply compelling. He makes the institutional, political and community consequences of Mexico City's punitive turn legible through exacting empirical insight. This is not just analytically productive, but also absolutely necessary for a thoughtful analysis of violence and urban life in Latin America.'
Graham Denyer Willis, author of The Killing Consensus: Police, Organized Crime and the Regulation of Life and Death in Urban Brazil
`Provides wonderful insights into the complex practices of security in contemporary Mexico City. Building on strong foundations in theory and on-the-ground data this book blazes a new trail in understanding the multiple layers of security debates in Latin America's largest city and the region more generally.'
Enrique Desmond Arias, author of Drugs and Democracy in Rio de Janeiro
`Muller's conceptually sophisticated and empirically grounded critical gaze spares nobody and nothing.'
Wil G. Pansters, Utrecht University/University of Groningen