Eye Spy Private High: Re-conceptualizing High Policing Theory

Graham Ellison, C. O'Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


This paper contests traditional analyses of high policing, suggesting that it needs to be decoupled (in theoretical terms) from its umbilical linkage to public actors and the preservation and augmentation of state authority. Arguing that conventional conceptualizations of high policing fail to acknowledge the role of private actors, we adopt the term `private high policing' to more accurately reflect the complexity of this paradigm. In particular, we note a long legacy of protecting dominant interests within corporate power structures, as well as increased involvement in outsourced security services for Western states. This has reached its zenith in the recent conflict/reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Eschewing conventional notions of the `proxy' debate, we propose a more complex relationship of obfuscation whereby both public and private high policing actors cross-permeate and coalesce in the pursuit of symbiotic state and corporate objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-660
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
Volume46 (4)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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