Brazil and the Philippines both have comparatively high rates of police use of deadly force, which have additionally increased in recent years. The report analyzes the extent to which structural variables such as demography, economy, and crime rates can explain variations in police lethality at the subnational level. It draws on the contrasting explanations of conflict theory and consensus theory. The former holds that police (violence) is often used by elites to protect their interests and suppress a potentially dangerous underclass. The latter, on the other hand, assumes that the police is a central institution for ensuring security and that police force is therefore directed against those who attack the social order rather than against specific groups.
However, the results of the analysis are not particularly consistent with either theory. Furthermore, the variables for which correlation can be proven differ greatly between the two countries. In attempting to find possible explanations for deadly police force, therefore, context and intermediary factors such as meaning, culture, normative order, socially established practices, and the political situation must be considered.