The editorial team for the Journal of Latin American Geography has released 16(3), which includes a number of excellent contributions, including an interesting analysis of changes in the spatial distribution of violence in Mexico between 2006 and 2011, a process that will demand continued attention as Mexico is unfortunately on track to break previous record numbers of violent crimes in 2017.
I contributed an invited book review of Markus-Michael Müller’s The Punitive City (Zed Books) to JLAG 16(3). Müller’s book approaches the processes examined in María del Pilar Fuerte Celis and Enrique Pérez Lujan’s article from a critical criminological perspective, and with a more narrow focus on Mexico City. The book is worth a read, not only for its study of how the geography of crime has been rendered and governed in Mexico City, but also because it provocatively offers a timely argument for “desecuritizing” scholarly analysis and practical engagement with the instabilities wrought by neoliberal governance. As I say in conclusion to the review,
“Müller’s The Punitive City will appeal to students and scholars of democracy, policing, urban development, and neoliberalism in Latin America, and it promises to immediately shape debates in the literature on Mexico City. Beyond its academic audience, activists and social justice organizers may find emancipatory energy in Müller’s analysis of the punitive city, for it shows that, despite the endurance of hierarchical and exploitative relationships in the governance of Mexico City, a punitive turn in neoliberal governance is contingent upon disparate practices of securitization and is therefore vulnerable to contestation. Amidst the emergence of transnational movements that are explicitly responding to extra-legal detention and disappearance, Müller underscores the urgency of politically engaged geographical scholarship, and suggests a need for future work on counter-topographies of anti-security.”
The complete issue of JLAG 16(3) can be found here.