Q:

Why are the police important in a democratic society?

A:

Quick Answer

The police are important in a democratic society because they provide for the rule of law, which enhances civic trust and helps maintain social order. Equality under the law is a basic principle of a democratic society.

Know More
Why are the police important in a democratic society?
Credit: (vincent desjardins) Flickr CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Democracies require high levels of civic trust because democratic governments receive legitimacy only from the consent of the governed. Social studies scholar and MIT Professor Emeritus Gary Marx notes, “It is ironic that police are both a major support and a major threat to a democratic society.” On one hand, police enhance democracy by exemplifying one of its central tenets, the rule of law, while also suppressing crime. On the other hand, police are granted by government the exclusive power to use force, which can be abused to undermine democracy. In either case, they play a prominent role in the success or failure of a democratic society.

Another key principle of democratic society is equality before the law. In his studies of American democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville found particularly healthy the perception of equal status among Americans. He also marveled at the extent to which Americans participated in policing and the enforcement of law, as opposed to merely waiting on authorities to act on their behalf. A neutral police force devoid of discriminatory or selective enforcement practices helps preserve faith in equal protections for all.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Why are laws important in our society?

    A:

    Laws are important because they keep a society together and functioning. Laws strive to maintain peace and safety among people and provide ways to resolve issues that do arise among individuals. Laws exist to protect people from each other and from themselves as well as to protect the government from harm, to promote certain values and to provide goods and services.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do we need law in our society?

    A:

    According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, one philosophical view states that the essential purpose of law in human society is the promotion or achievement of social order. Legal rules comprise a system that is intended to guide human behavior to a desirable end.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the democratic process?

    A:

    A democratic process is a practice that allows democracy to exist. Democracy is based on the idea that everyone should have equal rights and be allowed to participate in making important decisions. It is a form of government in which all eligible citizens are allowed equal participation, either directly (through elected leaders) or indirectly (in the proposal, development and establishment of laws that run the society).

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do laws affect society?

    A:

    By providing rules and regulations for what citizens can and cannot do, laws play a big part in defining the cultural expectations of a society. The World Justice Project states that the rule of law protects rights, limits corruption, and handles civil and criminal infractions.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore