Discourses on Violence in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua: Youth, Crime, and the Responses of the State
The paper analyzes the social construction of youth violence in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and El Salvador on the one hand, and the related security policies of the three states, on the other. In each country, there is an idiosyncratic way of constructing youth violence and juvenile delinquency. Also, each country has its own manner of reaction to those problems. In El Salvador youths are socially constructed as a threat to security, and the state implements predominantly repressive policies to protect citizens against that threat. In Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where the social discourse on youth violence is less prominent, the state's policies are neither very accentuated nor very coherent, whether in terms of repressive or nonrepressive measures. There are strong relations and mutual influences between the public's fear (or disregard) of youth violence and the state's policies to reduce it.
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