This volume brings together an effectual and lively collection of articles on crime, criminality, and law enforcement in Latin America, with case studies set in five different nations from the late eighteenth century to contemporary times. While three of the ten broad-ranging essays have been previously published, most are original essays produced with the theme of “reconstructing criminality” in mind. Like most collections, cohesion around the controlling theme is a problem at times, but in this case, I feel the volume’s eclecticism strengthens its appeal and utility.

Robert Buffington introduces the volume with a thought provoking comparison of Michel Foucault’s and Jürgen Habermas’s approaches to criminality and authority as a theoretical matrix in which he situates the approaches of different essays to bring more cohesion to the volume. The reader should not assume, however, that each author takes up a clear position in...

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