A Savage Order: How the World’s Deadliest Countries Can Forge a Path to Security

Rachel Kleinfeld. Pantheon, $27.95 (496p) ISBN 978-1-101-87199-7
While wars and terrorist acts grab most of the headlines, homicides claim about three times as many victims globally. Kleinfeld, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project, examines the causes and solutions of murder, focusing particularly on Colombia, Sicily, and the Bihar province of India, as well as Georgia, El Salvador, and Tajikistan. She notes the prevalence of “privilege violence... in which political and economic leaders... consciously enable violent groups to proliferate in order to protect their perks and maintain control” or even engage directly in violence and corruption. In 2015, for example, two-thirds of state legislative candidates in Bihar faced criminal charges, 38% of which were for such serious charges as murder, kidnapping, and extortion. She also analyzes “dirty deals” between governments and guerilla groups and gangs; one economist found that such deals, which often involve allowing powerful perpetrators of crimes to go unpunished, yield, on average, eight years of significant reductions in violence. Kleinfeld devotes the last third of her book to efforts to combat these situations, offering proposals such as training anti-crime leaders, establishing provisions that significantly reduce the assets of entrenched criminal groups, and providing governmental warnings to tourists considering booking hotels owned by those with “blood on their hands.” Kleinfeld does an excellent job of balancing the anecdotal and the analytic in this well-researched, clearly written study. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/12/2018
Release date: 11/06/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-9786-4321-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-9786-4322-2
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-0-525-43296-8
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