Governing-Through-Harm and Public Goods Policing

Berg, J. & Shearing, C. 2018. Governing-through-Harm and Public Goods Policing. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 679: 72-85.

25 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2019 Last revised: 14 Sep 2019

See all articles by Julie Berg

Julie Berg

University of Glasgow - Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research

Clifford Shearing

Griffith Institute of Criminology; Public Law Department; University of Montreal, School of Criminology; University of New South Wales

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

Among scholars of law and crime and practitioners of public safety, there is a pervasive view that only the public police can or should protect the public interest. Further, the prevailing perception is that the public police predominantly governs through crime — that is, acts on harms as detrimental to the public good. We argue that governing harm through crime is not always the most effective way of producing public safety and security and that the production of public safety is not limited to public police forces. An approach of governing-through-harm that uses a variety of non-crime strategies and private security agents as participants in public safety is often more effective — and more legitimate — than the predominant governing-through-crime approach. We reflect on case studies of non-crime intervention strategies from the Global South to bolster the case for decoupling the link between the public police and public goods. A new theoretical framing needs to be pursued.

Keywords: harm, policing, public good, Global South

Suggested Citation

Berg, Julie and Shearing, Clifford D, Governing-Through-Harm and Public Goods Policing (2018). Berg, J. & Shearing, C. 2018. Governing-through-Harm and Public Goods Policing. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 679: 72-85.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3416567 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3416567

Julie Berg

University of Glasgow - Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research ( email )

Ivy Lodge
63 Gibson Street
Glasgow, G12 8LR
United Kingdom

Clifford D Shearing (Contact Author)

Griffith Institute of Criminology ( email )

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, Queensland QLD 4111
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://experts.griffith.edu.au/academic/c.shearing

Public Law Department ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

University of Montreal, School of Criminology ( email )

C.P. 6128 succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7
Canada

University of New South Wales ( email )

Sydney
Australia

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