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Policing the Inner City in France, Britain, and the US

Abstract : Most Western inner-cities experience difficult encounters between the police and marginalized youths. Yet there are few comparative studies on policing, race/ethnicity, space, and social order. There is dissatisfaction and resentment on both sides. While minorities complain of lack of mobility, harassment, and discriminations by the police, law enforcers resent doing a 'dirty' job—one which is largely ignored by their hierarchy and by mainstream denizens. This book analyzes and compares the police's inner city presence in France, the US, and Britain. A cross-national comparison is a complex task because the countries are not of the same size, the institutions respect common law or civil law, the state intervenes more or less in social processes, anti-discrimination policies have diverse elements of legitimacy, rebellious youths have different profiles and so do policemen. However, the complexity of such comparisons helps to prevent simplistic universalism and ethnocentrism. The research presented in Policing the Inner City in France, Britain, and the US points to the idea that the creation of a more inclusive environment is a sound approach for cities looking to better maintain peace, reduce discrimination, and manage the dynamic between police and citizens in inner cities. Citizens, posit authors Sophie Body-Gendrot and Catherine Wihtol de Wenden, are not merely passive. They can resolve and manage low-intensity conflicts. Good local governance as well as better channels of expression and representation for disaffected residents can alleviate the urgency for social protest. (Résumé éditeur)
Keywords : Sociology Police Crime
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Sophie Body-Gendrot, Catherine Wihtol de Wenden. Policing the Inner City in France, Britain, and the US. Palgrave Macmillan, pp.152, 2014, Europe in Crisis. ⟨hal-01394764⟩



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