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Indirect Policing: Its Theory, Mechanism, and Application to Combatting Elusive Perpetrators

Nakao, Keisuke (2015): Indirect Policing: Its Theory, Mechanism, and Application to Combatting Elusive Perpetrators.

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Why do states indirectly police some kinds of transnational perpetrators by using their host governments while directly policing other kinds? We address this question by identifying the obstacles to deterring transnational perpetrators and by presenting a functional account of how indirect policing can overcome the obstacles. According to our theory, indirect policing can outperform direct policing in light of three advantages inherent in Proxy, who is induced by Defender to police Perpetrators: (a) Proxy can convince Perpetrators of punishments more credibly than Defender (communicative advantage); (b) Proxy is more likely to identify Perpetrators and detect what they hold dear (informational advantage); (c) Proxy can cripple and punish Perpetrators more effectively (offensive advantage). On the other hand, indirect policing has potential disadvantages such as: (x) difficulties with two-phase communication from Defender through Proxy to Perpetrators; (y) disincentives for policing known as moral hazard and free riding; (z) destabilization of Proxy’s regime caused by his corruption and tyranny that Defender might induce. Four forms of policing are delineated with associated incidents: proper direct policing (e.g., Combined Task Force 151); proper indirect policing (U.S. War on Drugs in Colombia and Mexico); dual policing (Operation Inherent Resolve); and reciprocal policing (INTERPOL, Budapest Convention).

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