Michelle D. Bonner is professor of political science at the University of Victoria. Her research examines questions of democratization and human rights through the lens of policing, media, and social movements.
This book is a major contribution to our understanding of the sources and significance of mass media representations of policing and criminal justice issues. Its particular focus is on the central role played by media in the global hegemony of populist diagnoses and solutions. The sophisticated theoretical analysis is based on extensive fieldwork, primarily 194 depth interviews with leading players in the media, civil society, and politics in both Chile and Argentina. The result is a rich comparative account of these societies. Combined with a wide-ranging knowledge of research in other countries this yields hugely valuable and original insights, notably the crucial role of neo-liberalism in feeding the populist trend. The detailed data trace the effects of change in the political economy down through its transformation of the structure of media organizations and the working practices of journalists. Written in a clear and engaging style, and backed by rigorous scholarship, the book is of importance not only to criminology and criminal justice, but for the lucid light it sheds on a central issue of our era, the rise of populism."" - Robert Reiner, London School of Economics