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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exporting U.S. criminal justice: Crime, development, and empire after the Cold War
by McLeod, Allegra M., Ph.D., Stanford University, 2008, 311; 3343958
Abstract (Summary)

Exporting U.S. Criminal Justice: Crime, Development, and Empire after the Cold War addresses the globalization of U.S. criminal justice models and transnational crime priorities in the post-Cold War period, with specific emphasis on the U.S.-led international war on crime and associated foreign criminal justice reform programs housed in the U.S. Departments of State and Justice. There are few, if any, studies to date that systematically examine the range of U.S. government programs engaged in criminal justice export, the functions these programs fulfilled for the United States in terms of fashioning a regime for global governance and facilitating neoliberal restructuring during the 1990s and beyond (the period of the relevant programs' emergence and most rapid expansion), and their effects on the ground in recipient locations. This dissertation begins to fill these gaps by reviewing a diverse array of source materials, including internal program evaluations and reports, case studies, journalistic accounts, domestic criminal statutes, international treaties, and legislative history, as well as prominent Central American and Mexican crime fiction that serves simultaneously as social commentary on local criminal justice landscapes.

The Introduction lays out the parameters of the U.S. promotion of foreign criminal justice reform and defines the contours of the analysis and argument to follow. Chapter One provides a descriptive overview and history of the major U.S criminal justice export programs—the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT), the International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA), and the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP)—and situates these programs in relation to their most significant institutional antecedents and ideological influences. Chapter Two presents an account of why a set of U.S. criminal justice export programs tied to a U.S.-led international war on crime proliferated over the 1990s, and how the discursive framework of transnational crime control fashioned a global governmentality that secured a dominant position for the United States and a particular variant of liberal internationalism in global governance during the post-Cold War period. Chapter Three reviews a series of assessments of U.S. criminal justice export programs in recipient locations, particularly in Central America, and explores the range of possible negative effects brought about by these initiatives. Chapter Four considers manifestations of resistance to U.S. criminal justice export programs and two oppositional literary accounts of transnational crime problems in Central America and Mexico. Chapter Five commences the project of imagining alternatives to prevailing models of U.S. criminal justice export.

One of the goals of this dissertation is to render the emerging forms of global social control represented by the export of U.S. criminal justice practices and transnational crime priorities more transparent and therefore open to critical analysis; another goal is to better understand the political ideologies promoted by liberal internationalists in the 1990s in terms of their connection to subsequent developments in the criminalization of immigration policy and the war on terror. This dissertation also seeks to provoke reflection on alternative modes of transnational cooperation, humane criminal justice administration, and other ways of conceiving the interrelationships between crime, crime control and uneven development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weisberg, Robert
School: Stanford University
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, Law, International law
Keywords: Criminal law, Empire, Foreign rule of law promotion, Global social control, Law and development, Legal transplant, U.S. criminal justice, United States
Publication Number: 3343958
ISBN: 978-0-549-99340-7
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