Paper $34.95 ISBN: 9781783606962 Published June 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783606979 Published June 2016 For sale in North and South America only

The Punitive City

Privatised Policing and Protection in Neoliberal Mexico

Markus-Michael Müller

The Punitive City

Markus-Michael Müller

Distributed for Zed Books

191 pages | 5 x 9 | © 2016
Paper $34.95 ISBN: 9781783606962 Published June 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783606979 Published June 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Mexico—a country whose name has become synonymous with drugs, crime, violence, and insecurity. While global media fascination and academic interest has been fixated on the drug war, however, an equally dangerous threat has emerged—the privatization of the police and security force.
 
In The Punitive City, Markus-Michael Müller explores how local political dynamics have played a huge part in Mexico’s chronic instability. Encompassing a wider context of urbanized neoliberalism and democratization of local politics, Müller closely examines the new reality of extreme security privatization sweeping the country and the contradictory responses on this phenomenon from politicians, activists, and residents. Alarmingly, his research discovers that there is a political protection racket emerging in the region due to the rise of privatized security and gated communities, leading to increased exclusion and violence towards those on the socio-economic margins. Side-stepping the drug war discourse that typically dominates Mexico, The Punitive City deftly tackles the problems of inequality and uneven development spreading across Latin America.
Contents
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
 
Introduction

1. The making of the punitive city
2. Neoliberal insecurities and resilient clientelism
3. Lawfare and resistance at the new urban frontier
4. Securitizing civic activism
5. Self-policing, commodified protection and community justice
6. Conclusion
 
References
Index
Review Quotes
John Gledhill, author of The New War on the Poor: The Production of Insecurity in Latin America
“Müller 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.”
Graham Denyer Willis, author of The Killing Consensus: Police, Organized Crime and the Regulation of
“Müller’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.”
Desmond Arias, author of Drugs and Democracy in Rio de Janeiro
“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.”
Wil G. Pansters, Utrecht University/University of Groningen
“Müller’s conceptually sophisticated and empirically grounded critical gaze spares nobody and nothing and makes abundantly clear how informal mediations continue to condition Latin America’s violent democracies. A must read.”
European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
“[A]n outstanding contribution to critical urban security studies.”
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