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2011 - ASC Annual Meeting Words: 195 words || 
1. Velez, Maria. and Lyons, Christopher. "Race, Crime and Minority Political Opportunity Structures: A Multi-Level Exploration across US Cities" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Washington Hilton, Washington, DC, Nov 15, 2011 <Not Available>. 2019-10-20 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The connection between neighborhood racial and ethnic composition and crime is well established, yet recent work by race-crime scholars suggests that city contexts condition this relationship. Minority neighborhoods should have lower than expected amounts of crime if they are located within cities that are well positioned to provide resources, support and services that help communities control crime. We extend this logic and examine whether cities characterized by “open” political opportunity structures, characterized by minority incorporation into local political and community organizations, are more responsive to the crime control needs of all neighborhoods, especially minority communities. We use data from The National Neighborhood Crime Study (Peterson and Krivo 2010), which provide multi-level demographic and violent crime information for about 9000 census tracts in a representative sample of 91 large cities. We append this dataset with measures of minority opportunity structures (e.g. representation in the police force and in municipal offices, and minority serving institutions). Our multi-level data allow us to assess variation in the race-neighborhood violent crime effect and to examine whether the often-found positive relationship between neighborhood race and crime is limited to or enhanced in cities characterized by stronger minority political opportunity structures.

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