Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

The military mystique : democracies and the war on crime in Brazil and Mexico

Abstract : This thesis investigates why and how Armed Forces deploy anti-crime activities, and it assesses the impact such interventions entail for democracies. Combining historical institutionalist and rational choice approaches, the thesis focuses on two cities, namely, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Tijuana (Mexico), where the state governors requested the military to assist public security efforts from 2007 to 2014. Relying on analysis of 100 semi-structured interviews, archival sources and information obtained through freedom of information acts, this research tracks the different phases of military operations in security, from decision-making to policy implementation. The systematic analysis of criminal statistics before and after operations indicate that such actions have a limited effect on permanently reducing lethal violence. Moreover, military interventions are usually followed by a set of social actions that will potentially improve the reputation of the Armed Forces to the detriment of the image of civilian agencies. Finally, and contrary to conventional wisdom that military urban patrols are merely temporary events, the research in this thesis demonstrates that military interventions in anti-crime activities transform legislation, jurisdiction, military doctrine and education, and that they bring long-lasting changes in the scope of military and police actions. Due to institutional modifications, politicians in general, and state governors in particular, are more tempted than ever to rely on Armed Forces for short-term political gains, even at the expense of the liberal dimension of democracy.
Document type :
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Hélène Saint-Gal Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, May 2, 2022 - 10:32:45 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 3:46:49 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-03656412, version 1



Anais Medeiros Passos. The military mystique : democracies and the war on crime in Brazil and Mexico. Political science. Institut d'études politiques de Paris - Sciences Po, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018IEPP0036⟩. ⟨tel-03656412⟩



Record views