Exploring the Relationship between Neoliberalism and Homicide: A Cross-National Perspective

McLean, Craig, Long, Michael A., Stretesky, Paul, Lynch, Michael J. and Hall, Steve (2019) Exploring the Relationship between Neoliberalism and Homicide: A Cross-National Perspective. International Journal of Sociology, 49 (1). pp. 53-76. ISSN 0020-7659

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/00207659.2018.1560981


Research has shown that neoliberal economic policies may increase violence. In this study we extend this logic to create a “neoliberalism-homicide hypothesis.” We test this hypothesis using two global measures of neoliberalism (the Economic Freedom of the World Index and the Index of Economic Freedom) and 2014 homicide rates for 142 nations. Regression analysis provides little support for the neoliberalism-homicide hypothesis using the global indexes. However, when examining factors that make up these indexes we discover that as size of government and tax burden become more neoliberal across nations, homicide rates increase. A post hoc exploratory analysis suggests that the association between government size, spending, taxes, and homicide is largely indirect and manifests through economic inequality and poverty. That is, neoliberal government policies appear to increase poverty and inequality which, in turn, lead to higher rates of homicide. We situate our findings within the broader literature on neoliberalism and violence and suggest directions for future research.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: neoliberalism, homicide rates, government size, tax burden
Subjects: L400 Social Policy
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2019 14:49
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 20:17
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/38696

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