Securing Safety on Campus: A Case Study

Wood, J. & Shearing, C. 1998. Securing safety on campus: A case study. Canadian Journal of Criminology, 40(1): 81-91.

13 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2019

See all articles by Jennifer Wood

Jennifer Wood

Temple University

Clifford Shearing

University of Cape Town; University of Montreal, School of Criminology; University of New South Wales; University of Toronto


A persistent feature of research and writing on the provision of safety and security has been the equation of the activity of one "institution of security", the police, with policing - understood as an activity intended to promote safe and secure places in which people can live, work, and play (Bayley and Shearing 1996). This limited focus recognizes, and as such assists in constituting, state-based modes of governing security, whereby the state as an institution seeks to "exercise a monopoly of legitimate force within a particular territory" (Hoffman 1995:3). While it is certainly true that states have claimed such a monopoly and have sought to use police both to express and maintain it, policing has - as Cain (1979) noted almost two decades ago - always involved more than this. The police have always existed within networks of other institutions and practices that promote security (Johnston 1992). This is particularly true today, as forms of governance outside of the police have emerged as significant sources of policing. Such forms of governance are a result of two main trends: firstly, the re-emergence of "private governments" (Macauly 1986): and secondly, the "reinvention" of state governance (Osborne and Gaebler 1993) where strategies are developed to permit the state to govern through the mobilization of "community" resources (Rose 1996).

This paper seeks to contribute to an understanding of networks of governance "beyond the state" (Hoffman 1995) through an examination of the programmes of one of the institutions of security within the University of Toronto, the Personal Safety Awareness Office (PSAO). The analysis to follow is aimed at exploring the ways in which three themes that have been identified in the literature as crucial features of contemporary governance - a focus on community, local responsibility, and a risk mentality - operate outside of established state structures.

Suggested Citation

Wood, Jennifer and Shearing, Clifford D, Securing Safety on Campus: A Case Study. Wood, J. & Shearing, C. 1998. Securing safety on campus: A case study. Canadian Journal of Criminology, 40(1): 81-91., Available at SSRN:

Jennifer Wood

Temple University ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Clifford D Shearing (Contact Author)

University of Cape Town ( 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

University of New South Wales ( email )


University of Toronto ( email )

Robarts Library
130 St. George Street, Room 8001
Toronto, ON M5S 1A5
416-978-3720 Ext. 234 (Phone)
416-978-4195 (Fax)

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