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The Ambivalent State – Police-Criminal Collusion at the Urban Margins - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Ambivalent State: Police-Criminal Collusion at the Urban Margins

Javier Auyero and Katherine Sobering


Over the past few decades, debates about policing in poor urban areas have shifted from analyzing the state’s neglect and abandonment to documenting its harsh interventions and punishing presence. Most of this research has focused on the overt actions and inactions of the state. Yet we know very little about the covert world of state action that is hidden from public view. The Ambivalent State offers an unprecedented look into the clandestine relationships between police officers and drug dealers in Argentina. Drawing on a unique combination of ethnographic research and documentary evidence, i ... More

Keywords: collusion, policing, the state, crime, violence, urban marginality, legal cynicism, Argentina, ethnography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190915537
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190915537.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Javier Auyero, author
Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long in Latin American Sociology, University of Texas-Austi

Katherine Sobering, author
Doctoral Candidate in Sociology and Graduate Fellow in the Urban Ethnography Lab, University of Texas at Austin