Police Abuse in Contemporary Democracies
  • Michelle D. Bonner
  • Michael Kempa
  • Mary Rose Kubal
  • Guillermina Seri


In this chapter, the editors establish the challenge that police abuse presents for our understanding of democracy. They argue that including police abuse in our study of democracy contributes to a more robust conceptual and structural understanding of its key dimensions. The chapter defines police abuse, which overlaps with police violence and police repression. It then briefly reviews the manner in which the dominant literature in political science addresses the concept of democracy, its limitations, and the challenge posed by the growing literature on the “decline of democracy.” The chapter offers a way to rethink this challenge by forefronting the importance of police abuse to three key components of democracy: citizenship, accountability, and socioeconomic (in)equality. These concepts structure the organization of chapters that follow.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle D. Bonner
    • 1
  • Michael Kempa
    • 2
  • Mary Rose Kubal
    • 3
  • Guillermina Seri
    • 4
  1. 1.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.University of OttawaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.St. Bonaventure UniversitySt. BonaventureUSA
  4. 4.Union CollegeSchenectadyUSA

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