Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How to fix the world

A story on NPR this morning told of a 3-year-old shot by police in South Africa. Apparently some believe that violent police are the only way to curb crime. I wished the reporter had also told us what social science tells us about reducing crime. Does violent law enforcement work? Is there anything else that works equally well or better?

In another story a little later, NPR quoted someone from the US Institute for Peace. It seems that at the US Institute for Peace, people actually try to figure out how to reduce violence and build peaceful societies. I think that's what we need to do. Being outraged about the 3-year-old shot by police is easy, but how do we actually build a world where that kind of thing doesn't happen? I think if it were easy, we would have done it already.

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