Bricks, Ballots and Bullets examines the social, economic and political developments in Jamaica over its four decades of independence which have contributed to a significant decline in political violence and the subsequent rise in overall violence. Political violence was utilized as a tool by the political parties to garner support and votes from key components of the electorate. In the 1980s a number of forces produced changes in the system of political patronage which had supported political violence. Political elites also voluntarily undertook a series of reforms geared at limiting their capacity to maintain certain forms of patronage and expand levels of political violence. As a result, from the 1990s onwards Jamaica has seen a significant reduction in the level and intensity of political violence. Unfortunately, a byproduct of these changes has been the development of other, equally or more troubling forms of violence. Rising levels of communal violence, drug related violence and street crime have given Jamaica the distinctio of being amongst the most violent societies in the world.