Powers, liabilities and expertise in community safety: Comparative lessons for ‘urban security’ from the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland

John Topping, Danie Gilling, Gordon Hughes, Matt Bowden, Adam Edwards, Alistair Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper begins by outlining and critiquing what we term the dominant anglophone model of neo-liberal community safety and crime prevention. As an alternative to this influential but flawed model, a comparative analysis is provided of the different constitutional-legal settlements in each of the five jurisdictions across the UK and the Republic of Ireland (ROI), and their uneven institutionalization of community safety. In the light of this it is argued that the nature of the anglophone community safety enterprise is actually subject to significant variation. Summarizing the contours of this variation facilitates our articulation of some core dimensions of community safety. Then, making use of Colebatch’s (2002) deconstruction of policy activity into categories of authority and expertise, and Brunsson’s (2002) distinction between policy talk, decisions and action, we put forward a way of understanding policy activity that avoids the twin dangers of ‘false particularism’ and ‘false universalism’ (Edwards and Hughes, 2005); that indicates a path for further empirical enquiry to assess the ‘reality’ of policy convergence; and that enables the engagement of researchers with normative questions about where community safety should be heading.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-340
JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
Volume10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Authority
  • community safety
  • comparative criminology
  • urban security

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  • Activities

    • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

    Commission on the Future of Police Reform in Ireland

    John Topping (Participant)

    20 Feb 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

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