Journal Article

Taming Uncivil Societies: Violent Rightist Extremism, Police Responses, and Preventive Public Policy in East Germany

Lars Rensmann, Christoph Kopke and Gideon Botsch

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 3, issue 3, pages 220-230
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/police/pap023
Taming Uncivil Societies: Violent Rightist Extremism, Police Responses, and Preventive Public Policy in East Germany

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The article examines the rise of extreme right hate crimes and violence in East Germany since unification, as well as the response by government authorities, legislators and administrators, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies. Focusing on the state of Brandenburg as a case study, the public policies on the state-level and the micro-level policing strategies toward the extreme right challenge are explored. While both informal and organized right-wing extremist violence, embedded in a broader ‘uncivil society’ of grassroots networks and violence-prone movements, still flourish, we argue that there is a relatively successful, multiple-level ‘Brandenburg model’ to combat extreme right hate crimes and tame the threat posed by violent uncivil societies. The model entails the combination of a specially trained, pro-active police employing innovative social strategies, committed prosecution agencies and preventive public policies. Success of such democratic interventionism hereby also relies on the ability to create broader cooperation between police, independent agents of civil society and democratic public authorities.

Journal Article.  6140 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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