Political incorporation theory suggests that the incorporation of new groups into city electoral politics will precede any improvements in the way that local bureaucracies treat members of those groups. We argue, however, that the logic and sequencing of political incorporation and bureaucratic response do not apply when explaining police practices toward immigrant residents. Drawing on survey evidence and case studies of California cities, we find that police departments are ahead of city councils and other municipal agencies in providing language support and that local elected officials are largely unaware of key practices of their police departments regarding interactions with immigrants. Such findings support the perspective of bureaucratic incorporation of immigrants, in which local bureaucracies proactively develop their own practices, drawing on a professional ethos.
- Police behavior
- Political incorporation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Urban Studies