Article Summary: The role of personality traits and social support in relations of health-related behaviours and depressive symptoms
In recent times, social media has become a common form of communication. Globally, nearly all adults and teenagers are on at least one social media platform. However, spending too much time on social media has been associated with negative health impacts, including long-term parapsychological symptoms. Depressive symptoms are key health concerns associated with behavior-related risk factors such as a lack of physical activity and excess screentime (Edler et al., 2022). Many media users spend excessive time on media, which limits physical activity. An individual’s perceived level of social support is also identified to influence the media use-depressive symptoms relationship. The article thus examines the influence of personality traits and perceived social support on health and the association between social media use and depressive symptoms.
Previously, studies have shown varying results on a person’s susceptibility to media, indicating differential impacts based on individual-level characteristics. Therefore, the author hypothesized that perceived social support and individual traits moderate how social media utilization relates to depressive symptoms. The authors also hypothesized that perceived social support and individual traits moderate the impact physical activity has on potential development of depressive symptoms. The data used in the study was from the repeated follow-up of the earlier Geman Public Health Institute’s KiGGs cohort. The earlier KiGGs cohort involved a sample of 2873 participants. However, controls on socio-demographic factors in the second KiGGs cohort to prevent bias caused a reduction of the sample population to 1402 participants (Edler et al., 2022). The study also involved questionnaires in collecting data from participants. Data analysis was done through a stepwise ridge, net, and lasso regression (Edler et al., 2022) to predict depressive symptoms caused by personality and perceived moral support, media use, and physical activity. As control variables, the researchers also included participants’ accelerometer wear time, educational level, parental social, economic status and age, sex, and personal resources. The study outcomes indicated positive and negative relationships between various variables. The researchers found that media use (television, social media, and PC) positively impacted depressive symptoms. On the contrary, physical activity did not impact depressive symptoms. Findings also suggested that individual traits abated the significant relationship between media utilization and the development of depressive symptoms. In addition, the results showed that personality traits moderated moderate to vigorous physical relationship to depressive symptoms.
Edler, J. S., Manz, K., Rojas-Perilla, N., Baumeister, H., & Cohrdes, C. (2022). The role of personality traits and social support in relations of health-related behaviours and depressive symptoms. BMC psychiatry, 22(1), 1-15.
Article summary: Childhood Emotional Maltreatment and Problematic Social Media Use Among Adolescents: The Mediating Role of Body Image Dissatisfaction
Social media has become a widely used form of electronic communication (Kircaburun et al., 2020). Today, users can create online communities to discuss various issues and share ideas and thoughts, among other content. Teenagers have become part of the large social media community. However, current research finds social media utilization to cause challenging social media use and childhood emotional maltreatment among teenagers. Therefore, the researchers sought to validate the association between social media utilization and challenging social media use and childhood emotional maltreatment in teenagers.
The study’s first hypothesis was that there was a positive Body Image Dissatisfaction (BID)-Social media use relationship. The second hypothesis was that it BID influenced the how social media usage relates to juvenile emotional maltreatment. The study engaged a sample of 385 adolescent teenagers between 14 and 18 years who used social media (Kircaburun et al., 2020). Data collection was through questionnaires. Researchers analyzed the results through SPSS software to assess Body Image Satisfaction validity. The study found Instagram, WhatsApp, and YouTube to be the participants’ most frequently used social media platforms. Participants used other social media platforms, including Snapchat, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. Moreover, there was a significant relationship between daily use of social media and challenging social media use. In addition, challenging social media use was high among female participants than male participants.
Kircaburun, K., Griffiths, M. D., & Billieux, J. (2020). Childhood emotional maltreatment and problematic social media use among adolescents: The mediating role of body image dissatisfaction. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 18(6), 1536-1547.
Article Summary: Looking Through a Filtered Lens: Negative Social Comparison on social media and Suicidal Ideation Among Young Adults
Social media is a significant influence to negative social comparison. Such comparisons on are also associated with suicidal ideation (Spitzer et al., 2022). Mostly, young adults are at the highest risk of suicide motivated by social media comparisons as the most frequent users of social media. Usually, social media triggers negative thoughts about oneself, from comparing oneself to others who may seem to have better lifestyles. A negative image of oneself founded on social comparisons thus triggers suicidal ideas. The existing research offers no insights into the relationship between online social comparisons and how such comparisons could motivate suicidal ideas. Therefore, in the study, the author sought to assess a relationship between social comparisons on social media, specifically Instagram and Facebook, and suicidal ideas. In addition, the researchers sought to assess whether social comparison moderates how thwarted belongingness relates to suicidal ideation.
The study assessed the negative social comparison, thwarted belonging, and suicidal ideation measures among 456 college students (Spitzer et al., 2022). Data was collected through questionnaires. The findings suggested a positive association between social comparisons on various social media platforms and suicidal ideations. Additionally, the thwarted belonging-suicidal ideation relationship was stronger from social comparisons on Instagram.
Spitzer, E. G., Crosby, E. S., & Witte, T. K. (2022). Looking through a filtered lens: Negative social comparison on social media and suicidal ideation among young adults. Psychology of Popular Media.
Article Summary: Social-Cognitive Mediators of the Relationship of Media Exposure to Acute Mass Violence and Distress Among Adolescents
Acute mass shootings have occurred severally in the United States. In addition, the display of such mass shootings, among other acts of acute violence, on media cultivates the potential of being a victim of such violence. Once displayed on social media, such acts of violence, each with its own intensity, contradict how people perceive reality. Social cognitive theories suggest that how people perceive reality is highly influenced by vicarious experienced. Usually, adolescents and young adults spend the most time on social media daily. In 2016, research suggested that teenagers spent six and two hours on social media and watching Tv, respectively (Felix et al., 2021). Therefore, teenagers’ perception of reality, as influenced by acute mass violence displayed on media, could influence personal perception of risk. Yet, previously, research lacked sufficient attention to possible changeable social cognitions that could guide efforts on public mental health. Therefore, the study was on key beliefs regarding the world, threat perception, and initial reactions to events as mediators of the association between watching acute mass violence on social media on anxiety and depression among 13 to 17-year-old teenagers.
Therefore, researchers hypothesized that key beliefs on the world, threat perception, and initial event reactions could mediate the association between watching acute mass violence and current anxiety. The study involved a sample population of 342 teenagers between 13 and 17 years who lived in the US and belonged to an opt-in youth panel (online). Data collection was through questionnaires (Felix et al., 2021). Analysis was done through SPSS software to assess the validity of the mediations (individual threat perception, key beliefs, anxious emotional response to media content, and societal threat perception, among other negative reactions from content on media). The findings suggested a significant relationship between exposure to media display of acute mass violence and anxious emotional reactions, anxious emotional response, and individual threat perception, among other negative reactions. The most significant pathways identified in the study were anxiety reactions about an outcome, core beliefs, anxious emotional responses and individual threat perception. Spending too much time on acute mass violence content on media and anxious responses had a significant relation.
Felix, E. D., Janson, M., Fly, J., & Powers, J. (2021). Social-cognitive mediators of the relationship of media exposure to acute mass violence and distress among adolescents. American journal of orthopsychiatry.
How Food Affects Mental And Physical Wellness Free Essay
Many people are today faced with several physical and mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, sleep disruptions, or even mood disorders. While there are pharmaceutical interventions that may help solve these challenges, it is critical to look at the ways of preventing such diseases or other non-pharmaceutical interventions for treating them. Food plays a critical role in developing good mental and physical well-being. Dietary intake is associated with both direct and indirect impacts on mental and physical health. People who start taking healthy foods are often linked with improved overall health. Thus, it is critical to review the available literature on how food affects the psychological status and physical conditions of humans. Some of the ways in which food can directly affect an individual’s health care through relieving pain and reducing gut problems. Gut problems are known to affect the brain by sending stressful signals. Indirectly, the diet can affect sleep duration and pattern, which consequently affect the mental well-being of people.
Keywords: Food, Diet, Mental, Health, Physical, Sleep, and Psychological.
Food Affects Mental and Physical Wellness
This paper posits that diet affects human behavior and consequently impacts their mental and physical well-being. Indeed, behaviors such as sleeping habits and regular exercise are highly dependent on the foods people take. A healthy diet would promote regular physical exercises, which in turn is good for mental and physical health. Certain foods also influence the duration and quality of sleep. Poor sleeping patterns are often associated with stress and other mental illness. Most studies allude that people who start taking healthy diets develop positive signs of mental and physical well-being owing to a desirable change of behavior. A literature review of some of the scholarly studies would help highlight the proposal supported by this paper.
Journal article 1
A proper diet is crucial in mitigating the risks associated with a particular condition, for instance, obesity, lack of sleep, diabetes, and high blood pressure. According to a study by Gangwisch (2014), the food people take significantly influences the quality of their sleep. People who take a healthy diet are linked with better sleep quality than their counterparts who do not focus on their diets. While physical activity and diet directly contribute to conditions like hypertension, Gangwisch (2014) insists that improving sleeping behavior also reduces the impacts of high blood pressure. The literature shreds of evidence from the interventional studies and experimental sleep deprivation studies suggest that having enough sleep does not only treat high blood pressure but also prevents hypertension. Gangwisch (2014) explains that human blood pressure reduces by about 20% when sleeping. Hence, during the summer, when people sleep for lesser hours, their average daily blood pressure elevates to extreme levels. The reduced sleep durations also expose people to more sympathetic nervous system activity and to increased psychosocial and physical stressors. Alongside modern distractions such as work shifts and travels across time zones, more people are exposed to irregular sleep schedules. Different types of food also contribute to different sleep durations. Foods that lead to short sleep duration are hazardous. Gangwisch links short sleep durations to incidences of obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes. Thus, a positive change in diet would improve overall body health by improving the quality of sleep.
A study by Binks et al. (2020) also investigates the association between diet and sleeping patterns. People who take foods such as vegetables and fruits that are known to be rich in vitamins and minerals tend to have a quality sleep. Unlike other studies that have focused on the impacts of sleep restriction or deprivation, Binks et al. (2020) go a step further to clarify the types of foods that tend to promote healthy sleeping behavior. It is paramount to identify diets that can promote good sleeping habits in the general population since poor quality and duration of sleep can impair several psychological and physiological processes.
Dietary intake plays a critical role in sleep, and both influence long-term well-being and health. Binks et al. (2020) insist that there are particular dietary factors that directly impact the sleep behavior of individuals. For instance, the consumption of tryptophan is associated with improved sleep parameters such as duration and efficiency and reduced sleep latency. The amino acid tryptophan is common in milk. Since the depletion of this amino acid is associated with reduced sleep quality, it is advisable for people to take milk or other diets rich in tryptophan. Diets rich in serotonin and melatonin, such as cherries, are also linked with enhanced quality and duration of sleep. With this review, it is, therefore, possible to select dietary factors that can promote desirable sleep outcomes. Extreme disorders related to sleep, such as insomnia, are known to promote stress and depression and hence support the notion that food impacts mental well-being.
One critical assumption that is common in today’s society is the notion that solely depending on a plant-based diet is healthy. However, the effect of a vegetarian or vegan diet on people’s overall physical and mental well-being still remains a contentious topic. A systematic review of 205 studies on the impacts of vegetarian and vegan meals on the brain revealed short and moderate-term benefits on energy metabolism, weight status, and systematic inflammation in diabetic and healthy people (Medawar et al., 2019). While the direct influence of plant-based diets on cognitive functions and mental well-being is reported to be largely controversial, a majority of the studies agreed that the vegan or vegetarian diet improves metabolic alterations and mental health through pathways such as neurotransmitter precursors related to diets and gut microbiome (Medawar et al., 2019). The plant-based diets are typically associated with a low amount of calories which consequently reduces inflammatory activity, better glycemic control, and shifts the metabolism of the neurotransmitter through intestinal activity.
The higher intake of animal-based protein, unlike plant-based, is linked with increased risk for cardiovascular derangements controlled by increased metabolites like trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). Besides, plant-based diets such as vegetables, fruits, and legumes contain more plant-based diets that induce crucial processes of metabolism like downregulated protein fermentation and uncontrolled carbohydrate fermentation that prevent chronic conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes since food digestion is slowed down. Thus, food intake can also affect people’s mental and physical health directly.
An improved diet is a crucial intervention for people suffering from chronic pain and anxiety disorders. According to Majeed and Sudak (2018), chronic pain affects almost 30% of the world’s adult population. While opiates are used to provide essential treatment for chronic pain, the world has shifted from such intervention owing to the crisis of opiate addiction. Chronic pain is typically linked with loss of finance, disability, and emotional and physical problems. While the use of pharmaceutical interventions is effective in lowering pain, their use has been largely discouraged due to addiction. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) now advocates for the adoption of alternative strategies. Non-pharmacological treatments such as mindfulness-based interventions, hypnosis, and cognitive behavioral therapy can help lower pain perception and improve movements and functioning (Majeed and Sudak, 2018). A good diet would encourage non-pharmacological treatments that reduce chronic pain.
Foods have a lot of influence on people’s gut health and, consequently, their mental and physical well-being. Schnorr and Bachner (2016) illustrate that poor physical health of the gut that arises after gut microbiota shifts from normal is likely to lead to poor mental well-being. Besides, the authors posit that complementary therapeutic designs such as being focused on diverse nutritional diets and applying supplements for probiotic diets would be instrumental in improving mental and physical health conditions. Extant literature has majorly ignored the interaction between somatic health and psycho-behavioral function. Schnorr and Bachner (2016) explain that psychological well-being and gut health are interrelated and term it the gut-brain-axis (GBA). The enteric nervous system allows the brain and the guts to communicate through signals. Hence, the type of food taken in the gut can influence the anxiety and depression signals sent to the brain.
These shreds of evidence suggest that the type of food people take has a direct or indirect influence on their mental and physical well-being. The food can directly affect mental well-being by causing gut problems or relieving chronic pain. Gut health can affect the mental wellness of any individual since it communicates to the brain through the GBA system. Thus, this directly links food to the psychological health of humans. Diet can also be applied as a non-pharmaceutical technique for relieving pain. The use of opiates has led to a crisis where the majority of the patients are becoming addicted and starting to abuse the drugs. The healthcare agencies like CDC have since promoted the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions. Dietary intake provides a critical intervention to solve cases of chronic pain in patients.
Besides, dietary intake can also affect mental and physical well-being indirectly by affecting behaviors that influence conditions. Quality and duration of sleep are essential to maintain good health both physically and psychologically. However, the quality and duration of sleep are known to be directly affected by dietary intake. People who take plant-based diets are linked with better mental and physical well-being. In addition, plant-based diets reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Other foods, such as milk, contain required amino acids that encourage longer sleep. Hence, dietary intake can also have indirect impacts on mental and physical well-being.
Binks, E, Vincent, G., Gupta, C., Irwin, C., & Khalesi, S. (2020). Effects of Diet on Sleep: A Narrative Review. Nutrients, 12(4), 936–. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12040936
Gangwisch. (2014). A Review of Evidence for the Link Between Sleep Duration and Hypertension. American Journal of Hypertension, 27(10), 1235–1242. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpu071
Majeed, Ali, A. A., & Sudak, D. M. (2018). Mindfulness-based interventions for chronic pain: Evidence and applications. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 32, 79–83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2017.11.025
Medawar, Huhn, S., Villringer, A., & Veronica Witte, A. (2019). The effects of plant-based diets on the body and the brain: a systematic review. Translational Psychiatry, 9(1), 226–17. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-019-0552-0
Schnorr, S. L., & Bachner, H. A. (2016). Focus: microbiome: integrative therapies in anxiety treatment with special emphasis on the gut microbiome. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 89(3), 397. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5045149/
How Governments Control Violence Through The Rule Of Law Essay Example
Sustainable peace and political and economic stability depend on the rule of law. The rule of law is best achieved when institutions have checks and balances, regulations and policies consistently enforced, and freedoms and liberties are all afforded equal protection and equal access to justice. This study aims to examine how governments use the rule of law to control violence. This article aims to present a constructive view of how the rule of law might help reduce violence. Methods used in the study include descriptive and correlational approaches.
Across the globe, millions of people are still subjected to acts of violence. Violent breakouts are more likely to occur in areas with intense feelings of injustice and inequality, as seen by popular movements worldwide. As a result of these complaints, society is riven with hatred and distrust that has a devastating impact on human security and progress. Individuals are prevented from improving their prospects by insecurity, which hinders local economic growth and takes states’ funds away from pertinent development initiatives (Butt et al., 2019). Increased risks of violence may result from the presence of well-funded armed organizations and multinational criminal gangs, institutionalized impunity for crimes like human rights violations, sexual and gender-based violence, political and judicial corruption, and persistent and lucrative illegal arms trade.
Preventing human rights abuses and fostering a culture of responsibility are essential if states intend to avert conflict and bloodshed, foster peace, and realize inclusive development. Conflict over unresolved grievances and repressive, unaccountable governance are all direct results of lawlessness, which can be seen all over the globe (Shepley et al., 2019). States require a system of Government that ensures that all public and private organizations and individuals are held to the same standards of transparency and accountability to the rule of law. Law and order have been recognized as essential for long-term stability in conflict-ridden areas throughout the previous two decades. Foreign aid organizations have quickly stepped in to help these countries improve their justice and security systems by donating human and financial resources. According to Cheesman (2018), assistance help rebuilds powerful justice and security systems, and better services will help improve state-society relations. That better services will help reduce violence and increase respect for human rights.
The consensus among international development practitioners is that justice and the rule of law are crucial for stabilization, security, conflict reduction, and prevention. Several donor countries have made financial and policy contributions to the initiative. Britain’s DFID redoubled its efforts in 2012 to address these problems in previously considered vulnerable countries. A total of 149.8 million pounds, or roughly 23 per cent, of the Conflict, Security, and Stability Fund (CSSF) of the United Kingdom Government was allocated in 2017-18 to support security and justice. The extra rule of law programming was integrated into the CSSF’s governance, conflict prevention, and peace-building programs (Kochenov & Bárd, 2018)). Reduce violence, maintain basic security, and allow peaceful deal-making, all of which should strive to offer a basis for developing long-term stability. This year’s U.S. government review of foreign aid urges tremendous integrated efforts across military, diplomacy, and development programs than ever before, highlighting the importance of the rule of law and justice (Cremin, 2022). All aid and training initiatives in conflict-affected regions are carefully tailored to ensure they mutually improve stability and do not unwittingly fuel conflict dynamics.
Large-scale attempts to restructure judicial and security systems in Afghanistan and South Sudan have shown us that we have not had the effect we hoped for in bringing about decreases in violence and establishing peace (Zalnieriute et al., 2019). The demands of those who live in dangerous environments like these and others are often ignored or unfulfilled. People lose trust in the state’s authority and capacity to protect and respect the rule of law when judicial and security institutions cannot do their jobs (Poveda et al., 2019). A well-functioning justice and security system may contribute to political and social conflict that can lead to violence or even prolong violence via human rights violations and discrimination. A lack of faith in governmental institutions may be attributed to widespread abuses of authority, corruption (including bribery), and discrimination by law enforcement authorities and the court system. The recent conflicts in many Arab nations and other countries worldwide show that these unfulfilled justice and security requirements may lead to a violent, prolonged war (Roucounas, 2019).
In its trailblazing 2011 World Development Report on Conflict, Security and Development, the World Bank emphasized the need to address the root causes of injustice and discrimination, which increase the likelihood of violent conflict by weakening state-society trust (Majhosev, 2021). However, the international rule of law actors has been hesitant or unable to address the political, behavioural, and cultural concerns that genuinely affect people’s interactions with justice and security institutions up to this point.
The understanding of the rule of law appears to be based on equal treatment and procedural fairness: any existing legislation should be enforced similarly across comparable circumstances and not be susceptible to corruption-induced prejudice (Poveda et al., 2019). Corruption may have a negative impact on business activity via a variety of feasible avenues. People can no longer rely on the courts to resolve disputes when they lack faith in the system’s ability to provide fair treatment to all citizens. They are therefore likely to resolve the indifferences using other alternatives.
Violence from Elections
Electoral violence is often cited in the media as a consequence of long-standing ethnic tensions or heightened political arousal. Electoral violence is employed as a political tool to improve winning prospects or gain sway in post-election discussions for control (Majhosev, 2021). Election-related violence is not only harmful to people who are seeking to vote, but it also has wider ramifications that exacerbate national unrest. In reality, it can potentially hurt democracy by lowering turnout and altering the results of elections. Voters in adjacent countries who see violence and elections as a symbiotic relationship may be less likely to advocate for civil liberties in the face of such events (Roucounas, 2019).
Apolitical electoral commissioners may also minimize party violence by using police techniques. Shifting police power from levels of Government that have an incentive to damage minorities to levels that have an incentive to protect minorities can reduce violence (Zalnieriute et al.,2019). Zalnieriute et al.(2019) expound on protestant partisan local governance in Ireland and various Indian states—using measures such as vehicle prohibitions on Election Day and voting areas known to be vulnerable to violence, situational crime prevention strategies assisted India’s elections to be less violent. A risk mapping method that emphasizes mobilization of police and military personnel to hotspot polling stations helped minimize violence in Bihar by issuing identification cards and using computerized voting registers coupled with concentrated police reaction from 2000 to 2005 (Roucounas, 2019). In the successful electoral commissions’ examples, various comparable strategies were adopted. Roucounas (2019) articulated that transportation limitations on Election Day in Nepal avoided bloodshed by halting the movement of armed groups; the apolitical election board in Bangladesh used similar methods in 2008 to reduce the bloodshed.
Violence may escalate if people perceive that the government and unlawful armed groups are working together via coercive police tactics (Ranasinghe & Restuccia, 2018). Military operations in Pakistan against armed organizations tied to political parties, for example, reduced violence temporarily but increased it in the long term (Poveda et al., 2019). Furthermore, such military police have escalated extrajudicial executions by criminals and political players and exacerbated underlying conflicts between groups. No major criminal activity or violence decreased as a result of military activities in Bangladesh in 2002 and 2003 to dismantle political groups, despite the arrest of nearly 11,000 people and the seizure of substantial armament stockpiles (Zalnieriute et al. (2019).
Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is violence motivated by gender identity or perceived conformity to socially established standards about masculine and feminine characteristics (Eisner & Nivette, 2020). GBV refers to any physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological violence perpetrated by compulsion, threats, or deprivation (Shepley et al., 2019).
Eisner & Nivette (2020) articulate that the underreporting of crimes, the weak legal framework, and the lax application of the current legal structure all contribute to the issue of GBV. Due to impunity and criminal punishments, windows for corruption become an impediment in dealing with violence since the prosecution of crimes is hindered. Moreover, the war on drugs has led to an extension and normalization of severe violence in general, which explains why violence persists and worsens (Epperly et al., 2020). Butt et al. (2019) articulates that the elements that tend to initiate and enhance Gender-based violence include greater use of force and widespread violence, as well as the normalization of impunity.
Channels demonstrate distinct linkages between gender-related difficulties and a weak rule of law in different ways. According to Poveda et al. (2019), high sexual assault and violence against women are closely linked to widespread corruption.
Violence by Youth and gangs in Marginalized Communities
Socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods with limited access to housing, employment, education, and healthcare and an inability to escape the cycle of poverty are “marginalized communities” (Shepley et al., 2019).
Five randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and three systematic reviews suggest that hot spot policing reduces crime in medium and large U.S. cities in the near run (Shepley et al., 2019). Hotspot policing decreases crime regardless of the manner, while aggressive approaches like zero-tolerance erode police confidence and encourage fear (Cremin, 2022). Gun control measures that are well-funded and rigorously implemented may be effective, but, in the United States, most attempts to curb gun violence have failed due in part to a lack of funding (Butt et al., 2019). Epperly et al. (2020) support New York City’s gun control initiatives, arguing that a well-funded and well-enforced firearms prohibition may have contributed to decreased violence in the 1990s. While gun buyback schemes have been implemented in a few areas, like St. Louis and Seattle, researchers found no evidence that they reduce the number of killings or gun assaults. They also found no evidence that the money raised from gun sales was utilized for anything other than purchasing additional deadly weapons.
There are five basic hypotheses in the criminology literature to explain crime and offer government solutions for susceptible locations. According to the theories of social control and social disorganization, societies with weak social institutions are more likely to have out-of-control conduct, highlighting the need of fortifying these institutions (Roucounas, 2019). According to the social learning hypothesis, vulnerable people, particularly young children, are incentivized to acquire the necessary skills so they may join the culture of gang-infested communities. The goal is to reduce involvement with criminals and influence culture (Roucounas, 2019). People behave in their self-interest, comparing the rewards of criminal behaviour against the danger of being arrested by the authorities, following rational choice theory (Cremin, 2022), which suggests that Crime would be reduced by stricter punishment.Routine Activity Theory, or the “triangle of crime”, posits that without effective regulations, a motivated offender would exploit an alluring target (Roucounas, 2019). Violence mitigation focuses on offender motivation (such as anti-gang recruitment programs), boosting controls (by improving police abilities or community monitoring), and reducing the attraction of victims (for instance, through amplified street lighting).
Community-based efforts that actively include ex-gang members in crisis intervention and prevention have shown promising results (Kochenov & Bárd, 2018). New York gang members’ arrests and the violence perpetrated by ex-gang members were decreased as a result of conflict management and crisis intervention research (Epperly et al., 2020).
Organized Crime leading to violence
Organized crime entails violence, whether it’s the Cosa Nostra of SicilyYakuza of Japan, Triads of China, narcotraffickers in Latin or the American mafia. Established criminal groups avoid violence because it may distract from profit-seeking (Zalnieriute et al., 2019). If the threat of violence is significant, some governments may prefer compromise rather than confrontation with such groups as long as they keep violence within themselves. Organized crime corrupts governmental institutions, hinders law enforcement’s capacity to pursue other criminals, and stunts economic growth. Even in marketplaces with the established territory, organized crime produces volatility and little violence between criminal organizations and the authorities.
RICO and CCE legislation extensively defined racketeering and criminal organizations to inflict harsher punishments. They assisted US police battle organized crime (Shepley et al., 2019). British conspiracy laws and New Zealand’s harassment laws have the same purpose. In Sicily and Georgia, organized crime syndicates were effectively fought using these strategies. However, in Georgia, similar approaches were twisted to aid an authoritarian regime that utilized plea-bargaining terminology to create its extortion racket against enterprises that had been involved in corrupt acts (Poveda et al., 2019)
Because organized crime depends on governmental influence (corruption), it’s a common approach to reject local law enforcement, which is more vulnerable to national corruption. The FBI, the country’s first national law enforcement agency, paved the way for successful mafia prosecutions by displacing corrupt local authorities. Organizational crime investigations could only be pursued effectively if FBI leaders were willing to put in the time and effort required to develop a case (Epperly et al., 2020). There is no better way for Georgia to deal with its mafia than to get rid of those who have protected them from justice, such as police, prison officials, and politicians. Authoritarian and severe methods were used to transfer violence from criminals to the state, but individuals received little additional legal protection as a result (Poveda et al., 2019). Dismissals of corrupt police officers in Mexico increase violence by breaking the link between organized crime and government, causing the latter to respond violently.
This research will employ descriptive and correlational research methodologies to establish how governments curb violence by using the rule of law. The descriptive methodology helps collect information from secondary sources. Descriptive design is a fit when a study aims at understanding specific trends, answering the question of how certain categories and characteristics and this study aims to assess how the rule of law helps curb violence by studying how governments have used the rule of law to curb violence (Kaur et al., 2018).
Correlational design measures the relationship between two variables that relate to each other in the case that one affects the magnitude of the other. This design will be employed in this research as this study will assess how the rule of law reduces violence when put into practice by governments and the effect of the weak rule of law in states. I will utilize United States as the case study.
Descriptive statistics were utilized to analyze the data. This research’s data gathering and analysis revealed some interesting resourceful findings.
Violence threatens the stability of countries, and governments construct policies and strategies to fight any threat, including formulating laws and using the rule of law to fight violence. In countries where the rule of law exists, the tendency for violence, instability, and social insecurity can be controlled. Violence in these states is not as high as in countries where the rule of law system is incompetent and weak; thus, the law plays a vital role in the control of violence and its impacts.
According to the statistics on how governments use the rule of law to control violence and a critical scrutinization of secondary data, this research realized that there was a sharp drop in the rate of crime and violence, as shown in figure 1(1990-2010).
Source: Bureau of justice statistics (2021)
This was after the signing of the violent crime control and law enforcement act into law by then president Bill Clinton in 1994. The decrease in the violent crime rates was also attributed to the increase in deployment and employment of more police officers in various police forces. The increased instances of violent crimes necessitated the creation of this act which extended the federal laws in many ways, such as penalties for gang-related crimes, banning of processing firearms, the death penalty for terrorism-related acts, and the federal assault weapon ban. The enactment of this act of law by the government through the president towards reducing the use of violence by establishing penalties and bans in several sectors contributed significantly to the curbing of violence and its effects.
In efforts to answer how the rule of law is used to curb violence by governments, this study found that as tools of the rule of law, norms and institutions have played a key role in curbing violence. Countries have encompassed judicial institutions, among many other institutions, which are trustworthy and fair with the rule of law system to ensure outstanding performance. As vessels of the rule of law, these institutions have significantly contributed to curbing violence in countries. One of the institutions is the United Nations; through its collaboration with various governments, countries have been able to resolve conflicts, reduce the use of violence and maintain peace through the many UN peacekeeping missions. Other institutions are the USAID( United States Agency for International Development), United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and domestic violence courts (DVC), among many others.
Through the assessment of the relationship between the rule of law and violence as two variables, the findings were that the rule of law is the independent variable. In contrast, violence is the dependent variable in that governments’ enhancement and adoption of the rule of law affect the violence rate by reducing it and its effects. This is illustrated in figure 2.
level of violence where enhancement of law is poor
Level of violence where enhancement of law is high
In the US, it is after a severe collaboration with regulatory agencies that the government was able to reduce the rate of violence reports. Catalyzing the rule of law by involving regulatory agencies affected the rate of violence by reducing it from the year 1996 to the year 2020, as reported by BBC in the 2020 data preliminary estimate. Improvement in the efficiency of the rule of law as a result of bringing in regulatory agencies by the government resulted in a decrease in violent crime rates. Thus it can be established that regulatory agencies are vessels used by governments that increase the efficiency of law in dealing with violence. This information bus illustrated below in figure 3.
The fact that greater levels of violence are linked to a lack of a strict rule of law underscores the need for a strict rule of law for addressing violence. This shows that if states ant to be successful in their efforts to end violence, we must ensure that the Government correctly applies rules at all times.
It is widely accepted that nonstate groups are often the result of failing or exploitative regimes, and many military and civilian rule-of-law practitioners agree (Cheesman, 2018). Program design for most civilian rule-of-law building programs conducted by some states in stabilization operations is predicated on a false assumption. The assumption is that there is a democratic government that wants to construct robust governance systems to serve its citizens and reduce violence.
If the rule of law is not followed, political militants will resort to violence to overthrow those in power who are not doing enough to govern in their best interests (Kochenov & Bárd, 2018). Where political groups have not been established to capitalize on public concerns, government rule-of-law failings allow violent criminals to provide some of the goods typically supplied by authorities, such as justice and social services. Some individuals may find these armed nonstate groups immediately appealing. Others may first dislike these actors’ broad ideals but view them as more efficient and predictable than the Government. Even if most of the public opposes armed violence, citizens are ready to enable these groups to operate due to government exploitation. According to the theory of competitive control, violent armed actors govern these geographies using a combination of norm dissemination, identity politics, persuasion, and appealing social offerings that garner ambivalent support and force (Epperly et al., 2020).
Violence seems to be a key factor in distinguishing country norms of law complexities and determining economic development volatility. In the midst of rampant violence, it’s absurd to suppose that law, judicial independence, or corruption are impeding economic progress. These institutions failed due to governmental failure, hence restoring order is a direct rule of law responsibility (Poveda et al., 2019).
When violence establishes a footing, citizens of such unlawful nations seldom seek protection from the Government (Kochenov & Bárd 2018). Ultimately, the state is viewed as having the same impunity as armed groups, if not amplified levels of corruption. Individuals may instead rely on vigilantes to maintain order. Initially supported by the populace, these groups frequently use their power and weapons to prey on the communities they were formed to defend, exacerbating the general level of violence.
Increasing law enforcement militarization is a common method to combat violent organized crime because it gives police the strength and resources to confront criminal groups and separate law enforcement from compromised local administrations. Roucounas (2019) argues that governmental repression is more likely to be successful when it is predicated on violence, rather than unconditional.
States can no longer continue to conduct business as usual now that people know that developing confidence and trust between the Government and society is necessary for peace. Government must now understand that to maximize the benefits of the rule of law to prevent violence; they must go beyond technical solutions and address wider hurdles in the justice and security sectors that create prejudice and impede administrative responsiveness, accessibility, and inclusion. Policymakers must continue to seek practical mechanisms for institutional effectiveness in complex scenarios. Still, if they genuinely want to reduce violence and strengthen peace, they must also give greater attention to the functionality between security and justice institutions, the people and their communities. They must promote positive interactions where they contribute to the maturation of a more inclusive social contract between the state and the people. This may be accomplished by taking a people-centred, human rights-based approach to finding workable solutions to individuals’ challenges while dealing with security and justice institutions (Eisner & Nivette, 2020).
Since the Sustainable Development Goals were adopted, unprecedented opportunities have opened up for the rule of law efforts in response to violence (Majhosev, 2021). Diverging from the MDGs, Goal 16 aims to foster peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide equitable access to justice, and construct a framework to manage institutions that represent all people at all levels of government. This objective underlines that peace cannot be realized without the rule of law. States must be ready to learn from their errors and failures at the commencement of their joint journey toward reaching this objective by 2030. Their support for institutions must be supplemented by more substantial efforts to enable ordinary people, especially women, to seek peaceful and reasonable dispute resolution. Marginalized groups must also be able to make legitimate demands on the state, obtain redress for their complaints, and establish a secure and stable environment in which they may construct their livelihoods. Everyone, especially those marginalized in the past, should be permitted to engage in the political and economic arenas (Butt et al., 2019). Rebuilding people’s faith in the state’s capacity to administer justice, ensure security, uphold human rights and eventually promote dignity will require us to step up our efforts. All government activities must ensure accurate application of law to succeed in fighting GBV, given the positive association between violence and corruption.
Evidence to aid practitioners in creating and executing effective rule-of-law programs to promote stability is rising but incomplete. However, researchers and governments still have a lot to learn about when and how to effectively include approaches to the rule of law and justice into conflict and stabilization efforts. A culture of the rule of law and equal and accessible justice cannot be re-established quickly enough in post-conflict settings due to the high degree of political and sociocultural uncertainty. Therefore governments should create proactive measures to strengthen the rule of law in mitigating violence.
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