Gift-Giving, Disreputable Exchange, and the Management of Donations in a Police Department

[Nuevo artículo de Daniel Fridman y Alex Luscombe en Social Forces sobre dones y ‘disreputable exchange’]

‘Gift-Giving, Disreputable Exchange, and the Management of Donations in a Police Department’

Daniel Fridman, Alex Luscombe

Social Forces, Volume 96, Issue 2, 1 December 2017, Pages 507–528,

Abstract

To supplement funding and strengthen relationships with the community, police departments often accept donations from individuals and businesses. These donations are a form of disreputable exchange: they are permitted but laden with the potential for controversy. Gift-giving is generally forbidden in public agencies because it conflicts with bureaucratic organizational principles of impersonality and fairness and equality before the law. Accepting donations, therefore, requires mechanisms to purify them, ensuring that there is no reciprocity, while at the same time motivating and acknowledging the bond with donors. In this paper, we analyze the management strategies established by a police department in Canada to maintain and encourage donations while preventing reciprocity and minimizing the possibility that gifts are interpreted as bribes. We identify four management strategies: institutional separation via recognized charity organizations; denial of reciprocity; limits on donation use; and screening the giver.

https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/sox063

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