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The state and the contemporary decline in violence

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Policing: Journal of Policy and Practice
Issue number3
Volume8
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)233-239
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date28/08/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

After a prolonged decline, violent crime in the West rose between the mid-1950s and the mid-1990s, and many commentators predicted that the rise would only keep going. They believed that violent crime was a symptom of a crisis of sovereignty for the state, which was under threat from outsourcing and privatization—a trend also predicted to continue. But as it happens, the privatizing of the police has since been checked by the failure of the private sector to convince as a credible alternative. Seizing the initiative, the state criminal justice system has increased in strength and scope and has reasserted its monopoly in legitimate coercive force. As a result, and confounding all expectations, violent crime fell throughout the 2000s and falls still.