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Driving Toward Autonomy? The Fbi In The Federal System, 1908-1960, Daniel C. Richman, Sarah Seo Jan 2019

Driving Toward Autonomy? The Fbi In The Federal System, 1908-1960, Daniel C. Richman, Sarah Seo

Faculty Scholarship

This paper explains the growth of the FBI (“Bureau”) in the United States at a time when criminal justice was largely a local matter by reframing the criminal justice “(eco)system” in terms of informational economy, rather than jurisdictional authority. It argues that the Bureau came to occupy a key position in the national law enforcement ecosystem by providing an informational infrastructure that enabled it to cultivate relationships with local police agencies. This history offers two insights about the nature of American state and federalism in the twentieth century. First, the Bureau’s particular strategy for enlarging its capacity beyond ...