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Police legitimacy in Latin America. Is it possible?

Monday January 21, 2019, at 13:30
Room 24.019 (Ground floor). Mercè Rodoreda 24 building
Research seminar

Lucia Dammert (Universidad de Santiago de Chile)

The fair treatment of the police is fundamental to increase the legitimacy and public confidence in the institution. The paradigm of procedural justice is a central framework of the criminological analysis of the last decade not only in judicial processes but also in police work. Applying procedural justice to police analysis allows identifying the elements that could provide greater institutional legitimacy and later compliance with the law. This perspective is especially important today where the essential tasks of the police have been joined by a multiplicity of new tasks that link them directly to the citizen. That is to say, the police - community contact is more frequent and procedural justice forces us to focus on the way it is developed and the result it generates. Additionally, it casts doubt on the emphasis put on police effectiveness (understood as the achievement of goals such as detentions or seizures) as the basis of police legitimacy in Latin America. The presentation will focus on police reform initiatives developed in the last decade and its main impacts over police legitimacy. Furthermore, an analysis of police challenges to become fully democratic institutions (in terms of accountability and transparency) will be discussed. 

Check all the forthcoming Research Seminars.

Lucia Dammert is a Consultant with expertise in Urban Violence, Urban Inequality, Police Reform, Community Participation, and Public Policy throughout Latin America. In the past 15 years she has worked with national and local governments, research organizations and international cooperation agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations Development Program and the Interamerican Development Bank in issue of urban violence in Latin America. 

At the public policy level she has held key advisory positions in several Latin American countries. Furthermore, she was a senior advisor of the Secretary of Public Security of México and the Department of Public Security of the Organization of American States. 

Her expertise on Security Sector Reform issues has been widely acknowledged in Latin America. Among her most recent books are ”Maras” (2011, University of Texas Press) edited with Thomas Bruneau and “Fear of Crime in Latin America” (2012, Routledge). She has published in journals such as Journal of Democracy, Foreign Affairs, Latin American Politics and Society, Bulletin of Latin American Research, among others. Furthermore, she has published in key academic journals in Latin America and Europe. 
Lucía has a bachelor degree in Sociology at Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina, an MA in Urban and Regional Planning (1997) and a Certificate in Latin American Studies (1997) at University of Pittsburgh. Also she has a Doctoral Degree at University of Leiden, Holland. 

She has been appointed as member of the Advisory Board on Disarmament Issues of the General Secretary of the United Nations (2017-2020), which will enable her to further discuss issues of urban violence and inequality in a global context. Also, she is a Global Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.