In her new book, Authoritarian Police in Democracy: Contested Security in Latin America, HKS Assistant Professor of Public Policy Yanilda María González examines how authoritarian policing continued even decades after the democratization of certain parts of Latin America. Looking at cases from Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, she argues that there can be a “democratic constituency for authoritarian policing.”

In this conversation with Sandra Susan Smith, Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice at HKS, Professor González speaks about how this research came about, what she learned about the political and societal conditions for police reform, and lessons for the US following the summer of protests after police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.