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Black or Blue: Racial Profiling and Representative Bureaucracy

Authors


Vicky M. Wilkins is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia. Her teaching and research interests include public administration, public personnel management, and representative bureaucracy. Her research has appeared in the American Political Science Review, Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Review of Public Personnel Administration, and Legislative Studies Quarterly.
E-mail: vwilkins@uga.edu

Brian N. Williams is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia. His primary areas of research explore the relationships between bureaucratic units and communities and community policing efforts within communities of color. He is the author of Citizen Perspectives on Community Policing: A Case Study in Athens, Georgia (State University of New York Press, 1998), among other research articles, book chapters, and government reports.
E-mail: bnwillia@uga.edu

Abstract

Are there conditions under which minority bureaucrats are less likely to provide active representation? The authors address this question by testing the link between passive and active representation for race in a police department and in the particular instance of racial profiling. Literature from three areas—racial profiling, representative bureaucracy, and police socialization—is brought together. The findings support the hypothesis that organizational socialization can hinder the link between passive and active representation. Furthermore, the authors find that the presence of black police officers is related to an increase in racial profiling in the division. This finding was unexpected and raises several important questions regarding active representation and race.

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