Crime and Justice in Emerging Democracies

Dick T. Andzenge, St. Cloud State University
Flora Myamba, St. Cloud State University

The idea that social and economic development may be related to crime has been a central theme in modernization theory of crime and justice. Various scholars have examined the nature of the relationship between development and crime; however, there has been limited effort to examine the relationship between democratization and crime. Many previous studies have focused on development as an economic process rather than socio-political transformation. This study examines the impact of democratization efforts in some African and East European countries and the impact of those efforts on crime and justice. The authors argue that emphasis on civil and economic liberties may create major problems in defining crime and developing effective criminal justice policies and practices. Specifically, the authors examine the ideal of democracy, which includes individual liberties and the legitimate powers of governments in regulating those liberties. The legitimate role and ability of legislatures, police and courts in fighting corruption and crime are examined.

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Updated 05/20/2006