Is democracy deadly

Democracy beyond legitimate coercion: Deadly use of force by police in the Philippines and Brazil

The project investigates state coercion in the form of deadly police violence in times of inner social peace in two democracies in the Global South. With Rodrigo Duterte and Jair Bolsonaro, populists came to power in both countries, giving the police a free hand in the fight against drug-related crime. But even before that, both countries stood out within their regions due to the high level of police violence.

This project investigates the connection between fatal police violence on the one hand and corresponding violent attitudes of politicians and the general population on the other. While most of the research on excessive police violence traces it back to the characteristics of the environment in which police officers are employed or to deficits in the police force as an organization, deficits in organizational culture or specific strategies for preventing or combating crime, this project focuses on the role Public opinion and a corresponding populism of political elites, who expect a tough stance to be advantageous in elections, as factors explaining the different frequency of use of deadly police violence in the foreground - both between and within states.

As part of the project, for which third-party funding is to be acquired, precise data on the extent of fatal police violence for at least a decade in Brazil and the Philippines are collected, which not only allow precise statements about differences between the various states or provinces, but also changes make visible over time at national and sub-national level. Through intensive field research in several subnational units, differences in the local perception of crime by the population and the local elite as well as the attitude patterns of the local police leadership and their de jure and de facto dependence on the local political leadership are worked out and the logics are then reconstructed, the more police The use of deadly force is the basis - in phases of "normality" without a centrally orchestrated campaign against crime and in phases of central political excess.