Punitive Entanglements: The 'War on Gangs' and the Making of a Transnational Penal Apparatus in the Americas
Markus-Michael Müller – 2015
This paper analyses the export-import business of penal policies that accompanies the “war on transnational street gangs” between the United States and Central America. It argues that far from being a unidirectional export of punitive politics from the United States towards Central America, many of these punitive exports travel “back home”. This creates transnational punitive entanglements that contribute to the contingent convergence of punitive geopolitics and domestic politics in the guise of a transnational penal apparatus that integrates law enforcement agencies and military forces, securocratic epistemic communities and national political entrepreneurs into a functionally cohesive but decentred transnational security structure engaged in a multilayered punitive containment of transnational street gangs across the Americas.