Book Talk: Authoritarian Police in Democracy: Challenges for Latin America and the US


Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 4:30pm to 5:30pm


Virtual Event (Registration Required)

Join the Ash Center and Carr Center for Human Rights for the launch of Authoritarian Police in Democracy: Contested Security in Latin America by HKS Assistant Professor Yanilda María González. Authoritarian Police in Democracy examines the persistence of authoritarian policing in Latin America to explain why police violence and malfeasance remain pervasive decades after democratization. It also examines the conditions under which reform can occur. Drawing on rich comparative analysis and evidence from Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, the book opens up the 'black box' of police bureaucracies to show how police forces exert power and cultivate relationships with politicians, as well as how social inequality impedes change. González shows that authoritarian policing persists not in spite of democracy but in part because of democratic processes and public demand.

Prof. González will be in conversation with Professors Vesla Weaver (Johns Hopkins University) and Daniel Brinks (University of Texas at Austin) about why police forces have been placed at the center of social unrest and debates about democracy and rule of law around the world, from the United States to Colombia to Nigeria. Professor Kathryn Sikkink of Harvard Kennedy School will moderate.

Registration Link:

Virtual Event Details  

Registration is required for this event. Please register using the link above to receive details via email for how to join the virtual discussion. This event will be recorded and a link to the recording will be sent out afterward to all who register.

You can submit questions to the panelists in advance during the registration process. A live Q&A will also be available during the event with an option to submit questions in real-time. 

The Ash Center encourages individuals with disabilities to participate in its events. Should you wish to enquire about an accommodation, please contact our events team at prior to the event. 

Additional questions? Email the Ash Center events team at