|Appears in Collections:||History and Politics Book Chapters and Sections|
|Title:||Policing, non-lethal weapons and the costs of repression in historical perspective|
|Author(s):||Palacios, Cerezales Diego|
|Citation:||Palacios Cerezales D (2016) Policing, non-lethal weapons and the costs of repression in historical perspective. In: Funes MJ (ed.). Regarding Tilly: Conflict, Power, and Collective Action , Lanham, MD, USA: University Press of America, pp. 229-248.|
history of policing
|Abstract:||While repression represents a cost for popular protest and activism, this chapter shows that often it is not a resource readily available to governments; to the degree that it signals a breakdown in legitimacy, repression also involves costs, which vary depending on the conjunctural structure of political competition. A historical increase in the cost of repression in specific configurations of the structure of political competition is the primary mechanism triggering the search for a technical solution allowing the non-lethal control of crowds. Variation in the costs of violent repression are the norm, but the long-term steady increase in the cost of violent repression is linked to the relative opening up of political systems and the extending of full citizenship status to broader categories of a regime’s subject population. In the countries that have been pioneers in the use of non-lethal policing, the increase in the political costs of repression came along with the recognition of the right to protest and participate. This democratization was accompanied by the development of protest policing techniques —training, procedures, planning, non-lethal weapons— and has converged in a broadly common contemporary anti-riot repertoire as part of the technology of governance. At the same time, the arms manufacturers embraced the discourse of non-lethal force and pressed for the imposition of technical standards for modern police forces. Starting in the 1960s, moreover, many political systems became part of more complex and dense international networks and this influenced certain dictatorships to adopt modern anti-disturbance techniques in such a way that the technology involved became emancipated from its initial political pre-conditions.|
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