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The Myth of Mob RuleViolent Crime and Democratic Politics$
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Lisa L. Miller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190228705

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190228705.001.0001

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Violence, Racialized Risk, and US Exceptionalism

Violence, Racialized Risk, and US Exceptionalism

(p.98) Chapter 4. Violence, Racialized Risk, and US Exceptionalism
The Myth of Mob Rule

Lisa L. Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the politicization of crime in the United States. The chapter details the long, persistent, and expansive rise in violence between 1965 and 1995 and illustrates the dramatic differences in violence rates between groups within the US. The chapter then explores the dense but fragmented American political institutions, that have important effects on the politicization of crime and the racial disparities that accompany it. Violent crime is easily decoupled from other social policy problems that are deeply intertwined with crime, as well as from more inclusionary policy responses that are supported by political majorities through a process the author refers to as lowest legislative common denominator politics. This process results in the failure of the American state to produce social policies consistent with majority preference, including those that might reduce violence and imprisonment, and this failure is felt most acutely by African-Americans.

Keywords:   race, crime, United States, politics, social policy

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