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The Role of Security in Governance

By Shorenstein Center – Harvard Kennedy School

soldiersA study just released by Harvard Kennedy School examines the relationship between citizens’ perceptions about government and civic affairs. In the study entitled ‘The Impact of Crime and Insecurity on Trust in Democracy and Institutions” the authors, Luisa Blanco and Isabel Ruiz look at how perceptions of security and crime in Latin American countries influence social capital.

The research is an important contribution to studies in social science on citizen satisfaction and the impact to ideas of democracy. Among the main findings of the report are:

  • Being a victim of a crime reduces citizens’ satisfaction with democracy but also increases support for democracy.
  • Demands for bribes and armed conflict reduced citizens’ satisfaction with democracy but didn’t affect their support for democracy.
  • Insecurity was the most consistent factor that undermined trust in political institutions, national government, the congress and the armed forces.
  • When citizens are victims of crime, feel insecure, are asked for a bribe, and when there is armed conflict present, the loss of trust is greater for institutions than for the criminal-justice system.
  • Requests for bribes had the greatest impact in reducing trust in almost all the institutions observed

To read the full report, visit the Shorenstein Center

– See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/international/development/democracy-developing-world-economic-growth-social-capital-crime/?utm_source=JR-email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=JR-email#sthash.GdSMjKMv.dpuf

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The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

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