IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/gig/wpaper/104.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Culture of Fear and Control in Costa Rica (I): Crime Statistics and Law Enforcement

Author

Listed:
  • Sebastian Huhn

    () (GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies)

Abstract

The Costa Rican talk of crime is fundamentally based on the assumption that crime rates have increased significantly in recent years and that there is today a vast and alarming amount of crime. On the basis of this assumption, fear of crime, the call for the “iron fist,” and drastic law enforcement actions are continually increasing. While crime statistics are the logical basis for the hypothesis on the far-reaching extent of delinquency, they are used in a problematic way in the talk of crime. In this paper I discuss Costa Rican crime statis-tics, their development, and their utilization in the talk of crime against the background of criminological theory. The theses of the paper are that a) the informative value of crime statistics regarding Costa Rican reality is far more questionable than the common utiliza-tion of them implies and b) when they are used as argumentation, these crime statistics do not provide evidence of the oft-proclaimed rising crime wave.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:104
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.giga-hamburg.de/dl/download.php?d=/content/publikationen/pdf/wp104_huhn.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sebastian Huhn, 2008. "A History of Nonviolence: Insecurity and the Normative Power of the Imagined in Costa Rica," GIGA Working Paper Series 84, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    2. Sebastian Huhn, 2009. "Contested Cornerstones of Nonviolent National Self-Perception in Costa Rica: A Historical Approach," GIGA Working Paper Series 101, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    3. 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.
    4. Peter Peetz, 2008. "Discourses on Violence in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua: Youth, Crime, and the Responses of the State," GIGA Working Paper Series 80, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Costa Rica; violence; crime; social order; crime statistics; public discourse;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:104. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bert Hoffmann) or (Howard Loewen). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dueiide.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.