A Successive Threat Theory of Police Expenditures

Jeffrey B. Snipes, Edward Maguire, Xia Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ethnic succession theory is concerned with the process and consequences of racial and ethnic migration into and out of cities. Minority threat theory is a branch of conflict theory that is concerned with the extent to which racial and ethnic minorities are perceived as threatening to the powerful. In this article, we propose a blend of these theories called successive threat theory which posits that racial and ethnic groups are perceived as threatening when they first move into a city, but as they assimilate, the perceived threat dissipates. The primary contribution of this theory is the previously undeveloped and untested notion that different minority groups may serve as threats in different time periods. Using time series analysis of annual data on Chicago from 1893 to 1965, we find support for the theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1507-1532
Number of pages26
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • ethnic succession
  • police expenditures
  • police strength
  • race
  • social threat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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