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How Latin American governments will respond to popular outcry against unprecedented levels of both corruption and crime ranks among the principal political questions of this decade. The State on the Streets focuses on the tense interplay of police, democracy, state, and civil society in the region, using the cases of Argentina and Brazil as a lens.
Mercedes Hinton draws on her rare access to a wide spectrum of actors in the two countries--including top police officials and street patrolmen, military officers and legislators, clergy and prostitutes, business owners and shantytown residents--to present a vivid account of politics on the ground. Her in-depth comparative analysis reveals surprising parallels in the reform patterns adopted in Argentina and Brazil in the past decade, supporting conclusions that carry disturbing implications for the prospects for democratic consolidation in Latin America as a whole.