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

Daniel Gilling, Gordon Hughes, Matthew Bowden, Adam Edwards, Henry Henry, John Topping

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper begins by outlining and critiquing what we term the dominant anglophone modelof neo-liberal community safety and crime prevention. As an alternative to this influential butflawed 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)1-15
    JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
    Volume0
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2013

    Keywords

    • authority
    • community safety
    • comparative criminology
    • constitutional-legal settlements
    • expertise
    • uneven institutionalisation
    • urban security

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