A History of Nonviolence: Insecurity and the Normative Power of the Imagined in Costa Rica
AbstractCrime, violence, and insecurity are among the most important social topics in contemporary Costa Rica. These three issues play a central role in the media, politics, and everyday life, and the impression has emerged that security has changed for the worse and that society is now threatened permanently. However, crime statistics do not support this perception. The paper thus asks why violence and crime generate such huge fear in society. The thesis is that the Costa Rican national identity—with Costa Rica constructed as a nonviolent nation— impedes a realistic discussion about the phenomena and their causes, and simultaneously provides a platform for sensationalism and the social construction of fear.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in its series GIGA Working Paper Series with number 84.
Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
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- Sebastian Huhn & Anika Oettler & Peter Peetz, 2006. "Exploding Crime? Topic Management in Central American Newspapers," GIGA Working Paper Series 33, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
- A. W. Coats, 1996. "Introduction," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 28(5), pages 3-11, Supplemen.
- Sebastian Huhn, 2008. "Discourses on Violence in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua: Social Perceptions in Everyday Life," GIGA Working Paper Series 81, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
- Bulmer-Thomas,Victor, 1987. "The Political Economy of Central America since 1920," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521348393, October.
- Ziggy MacDonald, 2002. "Official Crime Statistics: Their Use and Interpretation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(477), pages F85-F106, February.
- Peter Peetz, 2008. "Discourses on Violence in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua: Laws and the Construction of Drug- and Gender-Related Violence," GIGA Working Paper Series 72, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
- Sebastian Huhn, 2009. "The Culture of Fear and Control in Costa Rica (II): The Talk of Crime and Social Changes," GIGA Working Paper Series 108, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
- Sebastian Huhn, 2009. "The Culture of Fear and Control in Costa Rica (I): Crime Statistics and Law Enforcement," GIGA Working Paper Series 104, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
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