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Political Culture, Hegemony, and Inequality Before the Law: Law Enforcement in Pakistan

NCJ Number
Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management Volume: 28 Issue: 4 Dated: 2005 Pages: 631-641
Fida Mohammad; Paul Conway
Date Published
11 pages
This article analyzes the attitudes and behaviors within Pakistan’s criminal justice system over the past 30 years.
The main conclusion reached after extensive interviewing was that coercive means are used by Pakistan’s criminal justice system, particularly police officers, to maintain the established political order. Support for law enforcement was low among citizens, particularly those of the lower socioeconomic classes. Police reported widespread disregard of criminal safeguards and differential application of the law based on family economic status. One of the authors conducted extensive interviews in Pakistan from 1992 through 1993 with police, judges, civil service bureaucrats, torture victims, psychiatrists, political detainees, and criminal lawyers among others. The analysis centers on the hegemonic nature of the longstanding political leadership in Pakistan. Hegemony refers to the “process of securing and shaping consent so the power of the dominant class appears both legitimate and natural.” The authoritarian rule of the political leadership is deeply entrenched in Pakistan and is blatantly enforced through coercive means. More cross-cultural research that includes the notion of hegemony is needed to gain a better understanding of torture in different societies. Notes, references